Neuroscience PhD trends swamp out other life sciences disciplines….

These data were just released by NIH. This is not surprising to me, you can’t be in the field and not take notice of what’s happening around you. The size of the trend however is what’s really interesting. One thought I had is that a neuroscience doctorate really provides potentially two hot career directions: one in brain diseases, the other in brain applications (which range from brain machine interfaces to neural-inspired computing). ┬áSo graduate students in the neurosciences may be choosing the field because of a relative abundance of job possibilities.

More on advice on graduate school….

This time from Adam Kotsko, who is a professor at Shimer College, here. I don’t completely endorse this advice, but it well reflects the times we live in and I think Adam was quite crafty in his approach.

In the sciences, I don’t think there is remotely enough time to moonlight during grad school. Bench top experiments are somehow all consuming. Perhaps however this might be useful for students who are doing computer simulations only–although if you got your PhD in a computer sciences field, I can’t imagine you’d ever need to “hide” your over-education.

More on the modern university

From this morning’s NY Times–the chair of the religion department at Columbia University rails against US graduate education, which he likens to the US auto industry in terms of its desperate need for restructuring.

I’m not at all sure I agree with him, but then the situation for science is very different than the situation with humanities and especially departments of religion.
For one thing, doctoral students in the sciences tend to receive higher stipends, they produce dissertations which are separable easily into journal papers and their job prospects aren’t bad–especially when you consider non-traditional tracks to academia.