time when young investigators have completed their advanced training and may need assistance in establishing themselves among the larger research community. The European Research Conference, which Dr. Donnelly described, aims to: (1) provide a framework for scientific debate, and (2) build a sense of European—wide identity, especially among young researchers.
Carefully designed career outcomes studies would be especially useful in documenting the success of this program. A properly designed outcome study might focus on such questions as: What are the near-term and long-term effects of the Euroconference in launching young investigators into productive careers? Did the individual take the next step in the career process as a result of this program? Did this program enhance the level of productivity of the worker?
Coupled with longitudinal studies of career development, program outcome studies have the potential of making significant contributions to the ways in which educators, policymakers, and planners will approach the development of intervention strategies in the coming years—whether through curricular reform or through informal strategies like those described by Dr. Donnelly.
Earlier in the meeting, Dr. Jaworski observed that many corporations have attempted to define the career path of employees and have introduced methods to sustain the professional competency of their staffs. Many companies will allow highly trained scientists, for example, to have a certain amount of free time for their own research while conducting research activities contributing to corporate goals. In some industries, ''dual ladder" programs have been developed with a scientific advancement component and a managerial advancement component. While no industry uses all these—or other—techniques, almost all companies use some combination of these approaches.
The paucity of data on adult career development in S&T in work organizations is striking. Few attempts have been made to evaluate the effects of programs such as those described by Dr. Jaworski either on the employee's career goals or on those of the organization. Specialized studies that emphasize mid- to late-career development in S&T are sorely needed. Such information would be especially useful for identifying exemplary programs that sustain research and development skills and programs that successfully facilitate transition through critical stages of work-to-retirement transitions.
At the outset of the conference, Richard Pearson reminded us that there are many aspects of the concept of a career that must be addressed before statistical systems can be designed to track the development of S&T careers. This includes the need for a common definition of an S&T career, some understanding of the key determinants of a career, and key transition stages that make tracking possible.
Fortunately, sufficient groundwork has been laid by the social and behavioral science communities to begin planning for the systematic collection of information about the development of the S&T career, although much work remains before we have sorted through competing theoretical perspectives to determine which offer more promise for informing human resource policy and planning activities. This conference has provided us with an important opportunity to consider what types of information might be collected in the coming years.