Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.
OCR for page 314
314 THE LIFE SCIENCES number of students to research than do any other of the preclinical dis- ciplines, but a fourth of all medical students who undertake to obtain Ph.D. degrees are enrolled in biochemistry departments. A few institutions have established curricula providing an intensive com- bined experience leading jointly to the M.D. and Ph.D. In the long run, M.D.-Ph.D. graduates may well prove to be the most valuable citizens of the medical school faculty community. When such a graduate later manages a joint appointment in both a clinical and preclinical department, he will serve as the translator of science to his clinical colleagues and bring back to the science departments the problems of clinical medicine in terms that may make for successful scientific approaches to understanding of disease. Students so aspiring should be strongly encouraged but should also be clearly apprised of the difficulties of the careers they have embarked upon. It is asking much to expect anyone, over an entire career, to remain a vigorous, effective, and knowledgeable clinician while also keeping abreast of developments in one of the basic biological disciplines. AGRICULTURAL SCHOOLS AS RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL ENTERPRISES There are 68 four-year land-grant colleges or schools of agriculture in the United States. Enrolled in these schools in 1968-1969 were 50,717 under- graduates and 15,734 graduate students. Undergraduate enrollments have been increasing steadily in these professional schools during the past four years (Table 37), while graduate enrollments have increased more slowly during the same period. Even so, about 27 percent of all graduate students TABLE 37 Undergraduate and Graduate Enrollments from 1965 to 1968 in Agriculture and Related Curricula YEAR TOTAL, UNDERGRADUATE GRADUATE ALL STUDENTS STUDENTS STUDENTS 1965 56,339 41,757 14,582 1966 59,296 44,621 14,675 1967 63,917 47,704 16,213 1968 66,451 50,717 15,734 Source: Data from Proceedings of The National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, 82nd Annual Convention, edited by C. K. Arnold. National Association of State Uni- versities and Land-Grant Colleges, Washington, D.C., 1968.
OCR for page 314
THE ACADEMIC ENDEAVOR IN THE LIFE SCIENCES in the life sciences in the United States are studying in agricultural schools. Agricultural colleges at land-grant institutions perform three functions: resident teaching, research, and extension teaching. The latter two func- tions account for about two thirds of faculty time and often do not involve students. For this reason, the faculty-to-student ratio is generally quite high; the ratio of faculty to graduate students is about 1:1, in contrast to a 1:3 ratio in arts and sciences colleges. Research dominates the budgets of agricultural schools, which are a major component of the U.S. research effort in the life sciences. About $213 million was spent in fiscal year 1968 on research in these schools; the sources of these funds were state ($133 million), federal ($73 million), and private ($7 million). Research is the foundation for the dramatic advance in technology that has characterized American agriculture. Research has provided hundreds of improved varieties and strains of domesticated plants and animals, has developed methods of protecting man and his plants and animals-from the ravages of pests, and has provided a basis for the protection and wise man agement of our natural resources. The research program includes both basic and applied research. Many scientists in agricultural schools are making exciting contributions to the development of the life sciences and adding to our understanding of the principal manifestations of life. At the same time, agricultural scientists are seeking answers to some of the major problems facing mankind. An important stimulus to the life scientist in agricultural schools is the fact that he knows that his research results can immediately be translated into action by the extension program and into use by growers and the public. Certainly one of the important reasons for the continuing success of the agricultural colleges has been the well-functioning interrelationships of basic and applied research, extension, and teaching. The need for research expertise is steadily increasing for those students who plan to teach or direct extension programs as well as those interested mainly in research or teach- ing in agricultural institutions. Of the undergraduate students in agricul- tural schools, 3 percent (or more than 1,000) are from foreign countries, attracted by the recognized success of American agriculture. Productive agricultural programs are the foundation for the economies of all nations and especially for those of the developing nations. The de- veloping nations are in critical need of specialists to help them increase food production while protecting their natural resources, both to feed their own populations and to generate capital for other economic development. Working in international agriculture gives faculties another valuable dimen- sion of experience and also fosters contacts between foreign and U.S.