Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Advocating for Human Capital

Welcome to Part 6 in our series on Human capital and knowledge-based economy.

In the past we have examined what it takes to train a scientist and how tough the competition is to become an independent researcher. The statistics look rather bleak for Dr. Cy Ence and his band of fellow researchers. So what can we do about it?

Become advocates for science and scientists.

Funding science (and therefore scientists) is not only about satisfying our intellectual curiosities and finding cures for diseases, today it is about having an edge in the knowledge-economy. Training and supporting the next generation of researchers ensures our capacity to continue innovating and thus continue to be a competitive economy.

When people want to know why we should care about research and researchers, you can tell them all about the issues we explored in the last 4 posts. You can talk to them about the predicament of the current generation of post-docs and grad students and you can pull out statistics and numbers. You can also make three simple points:
  • Research is the foundation for a better tomorrow.
  • Investing in research ensures that we will have a better quality of life.
  • Research will also allow us to have a healthy, strong and vibrant economic future.
If you're reading this, you already have the foundation you need to become a strong advocate for science. Here are some simple steps:

We hope you've enjoyed our series on Human capital and knowledge-based economy and we look forward to your comments and thoughts.

This is Part 6 of 6 in our Human Capital and Knowledge-based Economy series.
Part 1 - A Knowledge-based Economy
Part 2 - U.S Competitiveness and Innovation

Part 3 - The Making of a Scientist
Part 4 - From Training to Practice: Joining the Faculty
Part 5 - A Race to Save the Lab Rats
Part 6 - Advocating for Human Capital

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