. "3 Graduate Education in Chemistry: A Personal Perspective on Where It Has Been and Where It Might Go." Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences: Issues for the 21st Century: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2000.
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Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences — Issues for the 21st Century: Report of a Workshop
can only come from that activity. Until the student generates his or her own equation, or understands a relationship that has not yet been explored or understood, that student has no sense of his or her own power to move a field. So, one is not concerned about capabilities such as whether I can talk or whether I can read or write. If I have a sense of power, I will do whatever it takes for me to move this field. What that suggests is that the kind of research that we do in a university setting is different in character from the kind of research that is done in industry. Our research must be chosen so that when a student has completed it, there is a sense of power that that student has acquired relative to almost any inquiry, but certainly an inquiry of that field.
Research groups that have 20 or more members pose serious difficulties to the faculty’s ability to be sure that each student has a sense of power about this discipline. I do not think that such a thing is impossible, and I do not believe that it has to be done everywhere by everybody. I think that the goal of graduate education in the chemical sciences has to be to give students a transcendent sense of power when it comes to dealing with matters of a chemical nature.
R. Stephen Berry: I would agree very, very heartily, and I would phrase my own perspective of that slightly differently. A goal of graduate education in science ought to be that each student reaches a stage of realization that he or she has contributed something to the world’s knowledge that is permanent. I think that is perhaps the source of that sense of power, that you have done something that, unless all the libraries are lost, has added to the world’s knowledge. Whatever epsilon it may be, you have done it.