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Science and the University

Edited by Paula E. Stephan and Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Publication Year: 2007

Science and the University investigates the tremendous changes that have taken place in university research over the past several decades, gauging the current state of research in higher education and examining issues and challenges crucial to its future. Scientific research increasingly dominates the aims and agendas of many American universities, and this proliferation—and changes in the way research is conducted—has given rise to important questions about the interrelations of higher education, funding for scientific research, and government policy. The cost of doing science, the commercialization of university research, the changing composition and number of Ph.D. students, the effect of scientific research on other university programs—these are just a few of the many issues explored in this volume from the vantage points of scholars in such diverse fields as economics, biochemistry, genetics, and labor studies.

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press

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pp. ix-x

Scientific research has come to dominate many American university campuses. The growing importance of science at the turn of the twenty-first century is due to exciting breakthroughs in biology, information technology, and advanced materials that have promise of tremendously improving human well-being. The growing importance of science has been accompanied ...

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Introduction: Science and the University

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pp. 3-15

Science and engineering (S&E) research contributes significantly to the overall quality of life in a society. For example, research creates new opportunities that lead to economic growth. In the biomedical area, research has done much to extend life expectancy. Research also helps to address humanity’s quest for basic understanding; the mission to Mars in 2004 that discovered ...

Financing Science and Engineering Research

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1. Who Bears the Growing Cost of Science at Universities?

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pp. 19-35

Scientific research has come to dominate many American university campuses. 1 The growing importance of science has been accompanied by a growing flow of funds to universities to support research from federal and state government and corporate and foundation sources.What is not well known, however, is that an increasing share of the costs of the research at universities is being funded out of internal university funds. So it is ...

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2. How Does the Government (Want to) Fund Science?: Politics, Lobbying, and Academic Earmarks

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pp. 36-51

The United States’ “system of innovation” is often touted as one of the most productive in the world.Many consider academic research—much of which is funded through the federal government—to be a key pillar supporting that system (Mowery and Rosenberg 1993). Over the past twenty years, the federal government has funded roughly 25 percent of all academic research. In fiscal year 2003 alone, the federal government appropriated more than ...

The Commercialization of Science

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3. University Science Research Funding: Privatizing Policy and Practice

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pp. 55-76

Contemporary discussions of the university often seek to balance its traditional public role with the increasing expansion of university-industry relationships. Advocates of university commercial activities and “alliances” with corporations argue that they are necessary to finance costly research programs that will benefit the public as well as foster economic growth. ...

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4. Patterns of Research and Licensing Activity of Science and Engineering Faculty

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pp. 77-93

The importance of university research for industrial innovation is widely accepted, so much so that any changes in the research environment tend to spark controversy. The recent increase in university licensing is no exception. The eighty-four universities responding to the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) Survey in 1991 and 2000 reported ...

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5. Commercialization and the Scientific Research Process: The Example of Plant Breeding

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pp. 94-109

The nature of scientific research has changed rapidly in recent years.Applied biological research, such as plant breeding,1 has changed more in the past fifteen years than at any time since the discovery of genetics. Change has been driven by discoveries in the field of biology and information technology and accelerated by laws protecting or patenting biological materials, including plant cultivars, genes, and numerous enabling technologies. ...

Foreign Students and Scholars

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6. The Importance of Foreign Ph.D. Students to U.S. Science

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pp. 113-133

During the 1980s and 1990s, science and engineering (S&E) Ph.D. programs in the United States became increasingly populated with and dependent on foreign students. Fueled by the large increase in noncitizen students, Ph.D. programs grew by 61.7 percent during the period 1981–99. If U.S. Ph.D. programs had grown at the citizen doctorates rate instead, they would ...

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7. Do Foreign Students Crowd Out Native Students from Graduate Programs

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pp. 134-149

The Immigration and Nationality Act provides two types of “nonimmigrant” (i.e., nonpermanent) visas for persons wishing to study in the United States. The F-1 visa is for academic studies, and the M-1 visa is for vocational studies. The number of visas issued to foreign students increased ...

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8. Foreign Scholars in U.S. Science: Contributions and Costs

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pp. 150-173

The foreign born have an exceptionally strong presence in U.S. science. They make up a large and increasing percentage of the scientific workforce, and an increasing percentage of Ph.D. degrees in science and engineering are awarded to foreign-born students (see chapters 6 and 10 herein). ...

U.S.-Citizen PH.D.s in Science and Engineering

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9. The Changing Composition of U.S.-Citizen Ph.D.s

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pp. 177-196

American research universities are admired at home and abroad. As Grant Black and Paula Stephan (chapter 6 herein) indicate, doctoral programs at U.S. universities increasingly attract students from other countries, especially in science fields. As a consequence, the share of doctorates at U.S. universities awarded to U.S. citizens has fallen substantially over the ...

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10. Where Do New U.S.-Trained Science and Engineering Ph.Ds Come From?

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pp. 197-220

Have the demographics of Ph.D. graduates changed from those in earlier decades? Have highly selective Ph.D.-producing universities maintained their share of science and engineering (S&E) Ph.D.s or have newer institutions and programs increased their proportion of doctorates? Do the majority of S&E Ph.D.s matriculate at the most prestigious undergraduate ...

The Changing Competitiveness of U.S. Science and the Organization of Academic Science

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11. Global Research Competition Affects Measured U.S.Academic Output

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pp. 223-242

Between 1992 and 1999, the number of papers published by U.S. academics fell by 9 percent as reported in the National Sciences Board’s Science and Engineering Indicators–2002 (SEI). This chapter seeks to understand why this occurred. A 9 percent decline in output could support the arguments of almost any constituency in U.S. academia. Advocates could report trends in particular fields over limited periods of time to support ...

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12. The Workforce for Biomedical Research—Who Will Do the Work?

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pp. 243-255

These are exciting times for biomedical research, as major advances in technology (e.g., sequencing, PCR, transgenic animals) and a wealth of data (e.g., genome sequences) allow rapid advances. In the second half of the twentieth century, the era of descriptive biology evolved into the modern age of reductionism, where fundamental principles and underlying mechanisms began to be elucidated at the molecular level. While much still ...

Concluding Remarks

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Looking to the Future

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pp. 259-261

In the three years since the conference that led to this volume, several changes have occurred relating to the practice of science at universities and the environment in which researchers and administrators are operating. For example, the dramatic decrease in the number of noncitizens accepted to graduate schools that occurred soon after 9/11 has diminished (National Academies 2005b). ...


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pp. 265-282


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pp. 283-285


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pp. 287-304

E-ISBN-13: 9780299224837
Print-ISBN-13: 9780299224806

Publication Year: 2007