patenting of results of research done with government grants. The result has been a willingness of university scientists and university administrators to establish collaborations with industries. This has led to a number of changes that are discussed in the final section of this paper.
Let us return to the questions stimulated by our asking why graduate education programs in chemistry and other sciences take significantly longer now than 40 years ago. We may begin with a traditional view of the course of a career in science. The graduate student is probably as close to being a traditional apprentice as anyone in modern life. The graduate student works under the direction of a master, who guides and trains and, we hope, educates the apprentice until the student crosses the threshold of an advanced degree, normally the Ph.D. The student-apprentice has become a journeyman.
Here we can clarify a common misunderstanding, the bifurcation that is sometimes made between education and research. In truth, all true research is education in that it is neither simple training, if it is under the direction of someone else, nor a pursuit divorced from any impact on the researcher. Education includes any kind of experience that leads us to modify our behavior. It includes more than research, e.g., pedagogical classroom processes, but certainly the process of conducting research causes us to modify our behavior and our thinking continuously, as we carry out our investigations.
The journeyman stage of a scientific career may be unclearly defined if the person goes immediately to an industrial or government job, but even there the newly hired scientist is likely to go through a sort of training period or interval under some supervision. If the fresh Ph.D. goes instead into academia, then the journeyman stage is easy to recognize as the period between receipt of the doctorate and the achievement of tenure. One change that has happened to this part of the career path between 1950 and 2000 is the transformation of the postdoctoral stage from being exceptional to being almost mandatory. That transformation occurred about the time of the great expansion of support for science, the period following Sputnik. The journeyman stage now happens in two stages—that of the postdoctoral, even of two or more postdoctoral periods in different groups, and that of the junior faculty member. The journeyman is expected, as in medieval society, to be able to produce work that may well be of the same quality as the master’s. But the journeyman is under a kind of scrutiny and evaluation that the master, the tenured faculty member, does not have to endure.
Graduate education, then, turns a novice into an apprentice and eventually into a journeyman scientist. At that stage, we expect the fresh Ph.D. to be in full professional command of at least one subject, perhaps a very narrow one. More precisely put, we expect that person to know more than anyone else in the world about the specific subject of the doctoral dissertation. We also expect that the experience of doing the research for the dissertation, and then writing and defending the dissertation, have educated the person to the stage of being able to invent or recognize, and then pursue, new research problems to their conclusion. This implies that the Ph.D. education included learning how to teach oneself new subjects and to do this well enough to use those subjects in new research.
We also expect those graduates who continue in academia to have learned something about teaching science as part of their apprenticeship. Most but not all graduate students now spend some time as teaching assistants. I think every scientist would agree that there is no better way to deepen one’s understanding of a subject than to teach it. The teaching experience is not only important for those who become professors; it is also a part of the apprenticeship that strengthens the foundations of insight for all graduate students.
Graduate education serves another purpose that I would like to believe fits neatly with the apprenticeship. That purpose is to work with the research director on problems that are part of that faculty