Rebuilding trust in science and upskilling citizens for a technology-driven economy are urgent policy challenges that the new Biden-Harris administration in the US faces. In a recent editorial in Science magazine, founder Abhilash Mishra from the University of Chicago and GSI faculty Aaron Mertz from the Aspen Institute, propose the creation of a new “American Science Corps”.
Responding to the idea on the Editor’s Blog, H. Holden Thorp (editor-in-chief of Science) writes:
“There are a lot of exciting concepts in this proposal. [Mertz and Mishra] mainly focus on the need for the U.S. government to fund the corps. But there is another big challenge: getting the scientific community to value the kind of work that Mertz and Mishra are proposing. Scientists place a high priority on producing graduates who will go on to do more science. For years, we have known that only around 10% of science Ph.D.’s get tenure-track jobs, yet we describe the places where the other 90% end up as the “alternative careers.” In reality, the tenure-track job is the ‘alternative career’.”