Over at Cosmic Variance, Sean tells us that the purpose of Harvard is not to educate people. Lately, there has been a dustup between Harvard, with its fat endowment, and various groups, including the Massachusetts state government, which think that money could be better spent elsewhere. Harvard educates just a small number of students - so what is it doing with all that money? Maybe Harvard could do better things with its money, but as Sean argues, educating more students is not one of them. I'm often asked where I want to work after I finish my postdoctoral fellowship. When I answer that I'm looking for a faculty job at a research university, the inevitable comment I get is "oh, so you want to teach." I don't want to teach. Well, maybe a little, but the primary focus of a professor at a major research university is in fact research. Educating students is useful and good for a healthy university environment, but it is not the overriding concern of a research university. The best science in the world is done at major research universities, where scientists have the freedom and the funding and the time to pursue research programs directed by their own sense of what is worthwhile. Research universities are generally (not exclusively, but almost) the places where the best basic science research can thrive. Some schools are good at teaching and research, but a university can still be extremely successful if undergraduate education takes a secondary role. Harvard is doing what it does best, and it has no reason to be ashamed of not taking more students.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- British Medical Journal Study: Your Psych Meds Can Kill You
- Tesla On The Horizon: Wireless Power Now Works Over 15 Feet
- No Escape From Our Problems in Space Colonies - Des Res of Solar System is Earth
- Vegetarians Found To Have More Cancer, Allergies And Mental Health Disorders
- Kepler-186f : An Earth-Sized Planet In A Habitable Zone
- Our Brains Are Hardwired For Language
- Malaria Pathogen's Cellular Skeleton Gets A Super-Microscope Look
- "Put the tranmitter in the middle of a cirkel from receivers..."
- "Obviously, in no small part to ridiculous statements like this, UK shale is not posing any risk..."
- "Hello Andrea,indeed that is a tough question. In 10 years I doubt I will still be doing LHC physics..."
- "Are you saying your book, which is solely dedicated to documenting bad scientific thinking on the..."
- "I'm confused, are you talking about me? I never said this site was right wing. And I'm curious..."
- Chronic inflammation may be linked to aggressive prostate cancer
- Chronic inflammation linked to 'high-grade' prostate cancer
- Impact of childhood bullying still evident after 40 years
- Experts call for higher exam pass marks to close performance gap between international and UK medical graduates
- Is UK shale gas extraction posing a risk to public health?