The following HTML text is provided to enhance online
readability. Many aspects of typography translate only awkwardly to HTML.
Please use the page image
as the authoritative form to ensure accuracy.
couple of years ago and happened to be there when a major program in Denmark was being initiated. It was a 5-year program, and the first assignment to the group of people responsible for the program was to figure out what was going to happen for the next 5 years of the program. We should see more of that thoughtfulness in the United States.
Jules B. LaPidus: One of the interesting facts—I mentioned it briefly here—is that the so-called American model of graduate education is becoming more and more widespread. In 3 weeks, in Beijing, there is an international conference on graduate education. This is unusual in that, in most countries around the world, there haven't been conferences that have talked about graduate education generically, because in most places there haven't been a lot of people who think about graduate education generically. Graduate deans tend to do that because it is their job, but there haven't been graduate deans in many countries. There haven't even been graduate schools.
At last count there are now about 100 members in the U.K. Council for Graduate Education. The systems are getting bigger, and people are beginning to say, as they did in Denmark, that a coherent structure is needed. I was in Denmark about 4 or 5 years ago, as well as Sweden and Norway, talking about changes in the graduate education system in the United States and found very similar things going on there.
Charles Zukoski, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: With a view from the trenches, I think I can point to Ph.D. research that covers the span that goes from training to scholarly research and that this isn't uncommon. What I took away from your comments was that we ought to redefine and narrow the Ph.D.—to go back to more of a classical definition, which is scholarly research, reduce the number of people who get that degree, and perhaps define a new degree category that involves advanced training. I would like your comments on that proposal.
Jules B. LaPidus: I don't know if I would buy that. You asked me what my view is. I don't think that is quite my view. There are a large number of people who are talking about this concept. The COSEPUP report, if you recall, says there should be three options. One is the traditional doctoral degree, another is to stop at a master's degree, and yet another is to define a more practice-oriented doctoral degree.
Roger Geiger in a recent article talked about the same sort of concept. I wouldn't say that we should forget about the training component and concentrate entirely on scholarly research. What I am saying is that if there is no part of the program that deals with anything broader than the training, then I think you have got a real problem. Then you are not involved in the Ph.D. enterprise anymore but are doing something different. You are training technicians.
I think every graduate program involves some training. One of the big questions in most other countries—take Britain, for example, or Australia—is whether or not the graduate student should do anything other than the dissertation topic. That is where this argument about research training comes in. A lot of people are saying you should know more about chemistry rather than just steroid chemistry. You should have a broader picture of what is going on in chemistry and in science, for that matter. You should have a broader view of that world.