Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Simpsons were right?

First check the video:


I never had a doubt about my future or the decision I took (profesionally speaking), and I won't start, but this is a really interesting article of Nature about the PhD system, I think that maybe doctoral programmes need to adecuate to the new circunstances of global community, and maybe there's many PhD programmes that need to be closed, but in the other hand there's a lack of research and resources to do it, in many other areas. I let you the link and hope to ear your comments:


naga said...
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naga said...

it is an interesting video and the column too raises some pertinent points. however, i wish that students at Mexico should not compare and think that their educational system is comparable to US grad schools. what v need first (at least with in our lab) is a strong preparation to meet the academic and professional challenges ahead instead of finding faults in the system. all of us always want the best in life, but are not prepared to strive for it. i think students at our lab should understand first that they r full time students (which is a rarity in our system) and fulfill their responsibilities. i am of the strong opinion that with liberty comes responsibility. to put it in different context, if students want the educational system to change, they should fulfill their responsibilities, so that they aware of the real pitfalls and not thinking and comparing with other system, which they know only either through cartoon or columns in journals.

imagination is a must in science and research, both for faculty and students. but that does not mean that either of them can imagine highly on their academic and research potentials/ performance. i feel that it is a complex theme, and an honest approach is needed by both to analyze and evaluate this idea.

Emmanuel Chavarría said...

What tha? Reclamo los derechos de autor!

Bueno pues yo estaba pensando sobre el mismo tema hace algunos días y me parece que nosotros en México tenemos circunstancias muy diferentes en varios aspectos de los cuales voy a poner dos sobre la mesa: economía y ciencia. Me parece que para un joven gringo no sea rentable ser estudiante de posgrado pues eso conlleva desveladas, libros que leer, artículos que discutir, conceptos que comprender, exámenes que presentar y demás, a lo que quiero llegar es que en EU se puede ganar el doble de dinero trabajando de peón que siendo estudiante becado. En cambio para un joven mexicano, una beca de estudiante posgrado es tal vez el salario más alto que ha ganado en su corta vida e incluso más alto que muuuuchos trabajos de ingeniería.
Por otro lado para un joven mexicano sí me parece importante que se involucre como estudiante de posgrado pues México (en especial los jóvenes) esta/están (por no decir estamos) deseosos de progreso y que camino más seguro que la ciencia (doloroso tal ves, pero seguro).

Aldo said...

"Don't make fun o grad students, they just made a terrible life choice" jajajajajajajajaja that one is great.
I agree with Cheve and Naga, we do things according to our needs and perspectives.
I think the article goes to an extreme by declaring as optimal the shut down of many specific programs. I think there are many quite specific problems that require those programms. On the other hand i find the proposal of more interdisciplinary programs agreeable. An interdisciplinary program will need the data from the very specific programs in order to relate to other areas and create something innovative. In addition, doing and thinking in different areas is a healthy exercise for the mind, staying too much on one thing is better for a very strong (or determined) mind.
I haven't look for evidence to truly discuss what would be better, but one thing is for sure; there is no perfect systems, therefore changing is always better.

Alejandra said...

I read the post, and then I watched the video and the Nature note and its comments. And personally I found these are the best.
First of all, I totally agree in that there are not similarities with our system. And about that I am going to write.
Check the comments. Most of them don’t agree with Mr Taylor. More than the half said that the written is a “narrow” point of view (those who are more polite). Some comments said that if there are mistakes in US higher education, also there are a lot of hits. An interesting comment said that almost those mistakes exist because many programs are focus only in publishing, without the vision of outreach, or develop students with more capacities. .. Particularly this seems a less extreme view and can built more. I mean, I agree with that many doctoral programs should be renewed focusing in what is lacking, but not “close them down”. In this case, those comments that said that the first programs that should be closed are those about religion (Mr Taylor area) are right… jajaja, are not those guys a little rude? But is a good point, isn’t?
I believe that this is something we lack: awareness of our system, or knowledge about it. I don’t think so many Mexican students will discuss like those who write to Mr Taylor. Neither faculty members. First, no many Mexicans are able to demand any change. If not, why Mexico has the same unqualified (and thief) education secretary since 70’s ? For now, we can only learn of what is going to happen when higher Mexican education achieves the necessity of renovation in the fields. In this moment, our system, our education needs more work responsibility and attention of us. :)

Emilio Nafarrate Rivera said...

First at all, I'm really glad that we discuss again a blog's post.

I know that graduate programmes are pretty differents in Mexico, comparing not even whit US, with UK, India, China, etc etc... my intention never was to make a comparison, I only think that is important to know different points of view, if we are applying for these programmes.

I'm not too agree with Cheve, because, i personally belive, that in your carreer, the only thing that can motivate you, are your personal intereses, not the money. So if you want to become a researcher or a professor, here in Mexico, whit you in the US or in Germany, UK, China, etc, etc... must be because you are convinced of want to be, and like Dr Naga says, fulfill the requirements of the programme, even if these, could look like "a terrible life choice" (Marge words). Is like if someone told you that is going to pay you $30,000 USD /year but you have to be a Administration Manager, first I don't think non of us like to be a AdmManager, and second I don't think we have the skills to be one; we can learn, we can study, but we don't belong to it. Personally, even I know I haven't fulfill my requeriments yet, I know this is what I really want so I have to fight for it.

About the programmes, I read the comments of the article too, those guys have their points. I don't know the situation of the US graduate , PhD, or other programmes, but, many countries are in financial troubles, if some programme is getting financial resources and don't have relevance for the development of its University or their country, why keep it? I know, it's complicated to evaluate it.

Aldo said...

OHhh!! i did not care enough to find out that Mr. Taylor was a theologist... that would explain his unilateral vision (bazinga, hahaha).
I guess the problem lies once again, in that research is a business. Once things become a business they get distorted from their actual purpose.
I said that because i don't know what we are discussing anymore; did we go astray :S ??