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Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences: Issues for the 21st Century: Report of a Workshop


“The approach to graduate study in the chemical sciences has changed
very little in the last 40 years, but the research and educational
environment is evolving at a rapid pace. Given the enormity of the
economic and human capital investment, it is not surprising that
questions arise about the outcomes of the investment. Opinions vary
widely about whether graduate education in the chemical sciences needs
to change, ranging from an emphasis on not fixing what is not broken to
insistence on a complete restructuring. Regardless of one’s position on
this spectrum, similar questions arise:

- What are the criteria for evaluating the quality of graduate
education, and who establishes these criteria? – For what purpose does
the graduate enterprise exist? For what purposes and goals do students
choose to seek a graduate degree? Who benefits and what is the product -
graduate students, faculty, the research itself, all of the above? -
Must all graduate programs have the same structure? – Why do faculty
choose to have graduate students rather than experienced researchers,
especially if research leading to new knowledge is the objective? – To
what extent are graduate students educated; to what extent trained? -
How long should-and does-it take graduate students to complete their