July 7, 2012

Jobs Americans just will do

From the Washington Post:
There are too many laboratory scientists for too few jobs. 
That reality runs counter to messages sent by President Obama, the National Science Foundation and other influential groups, who in recent years have called for U.S. universities to churn out more scientists. 
Obama has made science education a priority, launching a White House science fair to get young people interested in the field. 
But it’s questionable whether those youths will be able to find work when they get a PhD.

Not surprisingly, there's no mention in this article of the impact of immigration.

79 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good post, Steve. Thank you. Where can we get information on whether H1B and other visas (isn't there a type of temporary work visa granted to graduates of U.S. universities for one year or so?) are being given to research scientists?

nazgulnarsil said...

we need more engineers in the private sector, not more grant seekers.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, not enough jobs in biology. According to the NYT in 2011, "About 58 percent of all bachelor’s, master’s and doctorates in biology are awarded to women." Most of the boo-hoo stories in the WaPo article are women. Is it just me, or does every field that's overwhelmed by women turn to sh*t?

Anonymous said...

"A glut of new biomedical scientists that entered the field when the economy was healthier. From 1998 to 2003, the budget of the National Institutes of Health doubled to $30 billion per year... But that boom is about to go bust, because an equal number of permanent jobs failed to follow. One big factor: Since 2004, federal research spending across all agencies has stagnated relative to inflation, according to an analysis by the American Association for the Advancement of Science."

OK, so the whole "boom" in biology was due to government spending - it was, in short, a welfare program for chicks with PhDs. There was no true economic demand for it. And now, like some other bubbles you could name, when Uncle Sam quits funding it, the bubble bursts. Oh well, too bad so sad!

Anonymous said...

More meth labs than math labs.

Anonymous said...

"Is it just me, or does every field that's overwhelmed by women turn to sh*t?"

Motherhood is the obvious exception.

Anonymous said...

"Motherhood is the obvious exception."

Nope, that is also a case in point. Motherhood is turning to sh*t precisely because it is overwhelmed by women (single mothers) and the men are excluded from the child-rearing process.

Anonymous said...

"Nope, that is also a case in point. Motherhood is turning to sh*t precisely because it is overwhelmed by women (single mothers) and the men are excluded from the child-rearing process."


A fair observation, but I would modify it because really it is fatherhood that is being overwhelmed by women and therefore turning to...

Fatherhood practiced by women is a total failure.

Melykin said...

There are far, far too many PhD's in every discipline, including hard sciences. They are all going after a tiny number of professor jobs. But Canada keeps importing more of them, and importing grad students from China to study the hard sciences. The professors need the grad students to keep their jobs. It is sort of a Ponzi scheme.

My son is about 3 years into a PhD in Ecology. He is doing he field work in a very remote part of Canada. I worry a lot about him finding a job. One thing he has going for him is that the Chinese and Indians rarely study this field. They rarely study anything that has to do with the outdoors, wildlife, etc. Just not interested.

Daniel said...

Actually, this is increasingly a job Americans won't do, judging by my own experiences in grad school, and after. More than half the people going through the PhD programs in STEM fields where I went, were foreigners. Not really surprising, the salary as a grad student and as a postdoc sucks, the hours are horrendous, and it is exceedingly difficult to get a professorship at the end for many fields. For people from India, China, etc, the opportunity to get a PhD, and a moderate American salary may seem like a good deal- and if no tenured professor position becomes available at the end, well, that American PhD is looked on as a golden ticket for a professorship back home. Not so much for the typical American. Wish I'd known more before I got into it frankly. Would've stayed as a technician. Get the same pay as a postdoc, but work fewer hours, and don't have to keep hunting for new jobs and funding...

Ex Submarine Officer said...

Two groups seem to be doing better than other scientists: physicists and physicians. The unemployment rate among those two groups hovers around 1 to 2 percent, according to surveys from NSF and other groups. Physicists end up working in many technical fields — and some go to Wall Street — while the demand for doctors continues to climb as the U.S. population grows and ages.

This doesn't surprise me - physicists are smart guys (very few gals) who have rigorous problem solving skills, unemployment just being another problem to solve.

I never met a physics student that didn't seem pretty sharp while I've met plenty of of bio/chems that were obviously phoning it in.

A proxy for IQ scores are college majors that require mastery in applying differential equations (not just a course or two) as a core component. javascript:void(0)

Any estimates on the minimum IQ that this may signal?

Anonymous said...

And the impact of immigration is very simple: it was precisely immigration that destroyed good job market for scientists.

Cheap Chinese, Indian, Korean and East European graduate students and postdocs brought enormous competition, brought wages to essentially legal minimums (NIH had to step up and advise minimum salary levels) and made all the smart American kids stop ever thinking of science as viable career. Heck, unless one lucks out with the tenure, an average postal worker is better off than an average scientist.

Kaz said...

@Anon @ 7:33

That's because those fields were already easy.

Biology is not a hard science, there is little to no hard math in Biology. It's all memorization.

Ed said...

One of the ideas being thrown about the internets, particularly by Tyler Cowen, is that if only more people would study science/ engineering/ math employment would pick up. Every so often people with degrees in these fields would post that there aren't many jobs for them either, to no visible effect on the discussion.

Anonymous said...

"A proxy for IQ scores are college majors that require mastery in applying differential equations (not just a course or two) as a core component"

Diff Eq is widely considered to be one of the easiest college level math classes except perhaps calculus. I would say that it requires a minimum IQ of 115.

I think that abstract mathematics (topology, graph theory, etc.) requires an IQ of at least 130-140, depending on the level of understanding required.

Traditionally, biology is the easiest and least rigorous science, but it is quickly being invaded by smart people from other disciplines.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_structure_prediction

Anonymous said...

If biology were that easy, why are there so many unsolved problems and unmet needs?

Anon.

Anonymous said...

Any estimates on the minimum IQ that this may signal?

For a Ph.D. in physics? Wild guess: minimum 140IQ, average 10 or 15 points higher.

Anonymous said...

If biology were that easy

Biology is not easy. Biology is a lot more difficult than physics - this is quite self-evident. And that is precisely why most of the smarties stayed away from it for so long - too messy, too uncertain; even if you are smart, the outcome is far from given. Now that there isn't much left to pick in physics, the smart physicists are turning to biology again. Most of them are handicapped by their feeling of superiority and end up wasting much time rediscovering a wheel but it's still a positive development because, truly, there are still too many dunces in biology.

Anonymous said...

For a Ph.D. in physics? Wild guess: minimum 140IQ

Now that is really a stupid guess, even for a wild one. 125-130 as an average is a lot closer to reality. And only if counting top 20-40 graduate programs. The thing is, anyone with IQ > 100 can get a Ph.D. in any field given enough perseverance.

Anonymous said...

The thing is, anyone with IQ > 100 can get a Ph.D. in any field given enough perseverance.

Uh, no. No one with an IQ of 110 is going to be able to get a Ph.D. in math or physics from a reputable university, no matter how hard he "perserveres". Sorry.

KIm said...

"OK, so the whole "boom" in biology was due to government spending - it was, in short, a welfare program for chicks with PhDs. There was no true economic demand for it. And now, like some other bubbles you could name, when Uncle Sam quits funding it, the bubble bursts. Oh well, too bad so sad!"

- Oh no. Biomedical sciences produces nothing of value at all, its just welfare spending. Sure. Couldn't have anything to do with all of the advances in molecular biology and their impact on medicine. Its also curious that so many people receiving this "welfare" are working 60+ hours/week to receive it.

Anonymous said...

Any estimates on the minimum IQ that this may signal?

Just rough, back-of-the-envelope, I'd guess:

130 for ODEs?

140 for PDEs?

Anonymous said...

2:07 Anon
Uh, no. No one with an IQ of 110 is going to be able to get a Ph.D. in math or physics from a reputable university, no matter how hard he "perserveres". Sorry.

Hundreds of "diversity" candidates" do it every year

Anonymous said...

Hundreds of "diversity" candidates" do it every year

If you are talking about black folks, it isn't hundreds. The total math/physics phds awarded annually to blacks is about 15 in each field.

It really is astonishing at how few math/physics/engineering phds are earned by blacks, even now with all the leg up/thumbs on the scales help that they get.

Perspective said...

"There are far, far too many PhD's in every discipline, including hard sciences. They are all going after a tiny number of professor jobs. But Canada keeps importing more of them, and importing grad students from China to study the hard sciences. The professors need the grad students to keep their jobs. It is sort of a Ponzi scheme."

This is something you will NEVER read or hear about in the MSM Canadian news media. Many college and university related disciplines have so few job openings available because Canadian immigration policy is saturating these fields with immigrants that will only train for certain professions. I read one statistic that Canada imports and graduates about 25,000 more engineers than the economy could possible absorb in a year.

Anonymous said...

"140 for PDEs?"

Maybe I should elaborate - you might be able to teach non-rigorous PDEs to folks down around IQ 130, where you play around with an heuristic Fourier Transform and they aren't required to have a real firm grasp on e.g. the difference between a function and a functional.

But to do PDEs rigorously - with measure theory, Lebesgue integration, Hilbert space theory, Banach space theory, Sobolev spaces, the theory of linear functionals, etc etc etc - that's gotta be getting you out around IQ 140.

[And that's just in Euclidean space - if you wanna do it on general manifolds or on Lie Groups in particular, then that just makes it all the more tedious & time-consuming. And then there's several complex variables and H* spaces and blah blah blah blah blah...]

Maybe you could do it down around IQ 130, but the student would have to be just exceptionally devoted, self-motivated, and self-disciplined.

David Davenport said...

One of the ideas being thrown about the internets, particularly by Tyler Cowen, is that if only more people would study science/ engineering/ math employment would pick up.

I've never heard Mr. Cowen sepak, but I have heard similar shills for EDUCATION cite Say's so-called law of economics. Say's law is that increasing supply of a desirable commodity will somehow increase demand for same. ... Contrary to the usual concept of supply and demand.

Diff Eq is widely considered to be one of the easiest college level math classes except perhaps calculus.

Which calculus? First or second semester Intro. Calc., or second semester advanced calculus following first year calculus? Why do nearly all U.'s recommend taking the first Diff Eq. course after the first year of calculus?

And which semester of differential equations are you talking about? The first semester, or later courses, including nonlinear systems?

I intuit where you're coming from. Graph theory and topology is stuff for math majors, at least traditionally. Pure mathematicians tend to disdain differential equations as mere tools for tradesmen studying science and engineering outside the Math. Dept.
Pure mathematicians take pride in avoiding practical applications.

On the other hand, some engineers and physical scientists suspect that some pure mathematicians overrate themselves. :0)

I would say that it requires a minimum IQ of 115.

I think that abstract mathematics (topology, graph theory, etc.) requires an IQ of at least 130-140, depending on the level of understanding required.


Can you cite research or evidence that justifies those specific IQ level requirements?

Bostonian said...

Here is a recent paper on how the influx of Russian mathematicians in the 1990s hurt the careers of young American mathematicians. The paper is at http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/8160722/RWP12-004-Borjas.pdf

The Collapse of the Soviet Union and the Productivity of American Mathematicians
George J. Borjas, Kirk B. Doran
NBER Working Paper No. 17800
Issued in February 2012
NBER Program(s): LS
It has been difficult to open up the black box of knowledge production. We use unique international data on the publications, citations, and affiliations of mathematicians to examine the impact of a large post-1992 influx of Soviet mathematicians on the productivity of their American counterparts. We find a negative productivity effect on those mathematicians whose research overlapped with that of the Soviets. We also document an increased mobility rate (to lower-quality institutions and out of active publishing) and a reduced likelihood of producing “home run” papers. Although the total product of the pre-existing American mathematicians shrank, the Soviet contribution to American mathematics filled in the gap. However, there is no evidence that the Soviets greatly increased the size of the “mathematics pie.” Finally, we find that there are significant international differences in the productivity effects of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and that these international differences can be explained by both differences in the size of the √©migr√© flow into the various countries and in how connected each country is to the global market for mathematical publications.

Kylie said...

"'Is it just me, or does every field that's overwhelmed by women turn to sh*t?'

Motherhood is the obvious exception."


You must be a non-reader of the Daily Mail. That tabloid routinely features a number of moms on both sides of the pond abusing, neglecting and abandoning their children in all sorts of creatively hideous ways.

Such things have always existed but it does seem they are more widespread than they once were.

Now that I think about it, you must also have spent no time among the American underclass. My observation was the moms there, both black and white, basically used--and even produced--their children as a way to get government bennies and community freebies. The level of daily, casual neglect of their kids by these moms was shocking. And I don't mean moms failing to sign their sons up for soccer or not dressing their daughters nicely. I mean not providing adequate food and clothing (the funds given them for those purposes they spend on themselves) and allowing their homes to be filthy and unsafe.

Cute quip but it would have been more effective if it had had some basis in reality.

Anonymous said...

No one with an IQ of 110 is going to be able to get a Ph.D. in math or physics from a reputable university

True. But I wasn't talking about reputable. I meant PhD granting places like Fisk University.

Anonymous said...

Just imagine how much more research money there would be for stem fields if the tax payer did not have to fund the social "sciences".


Prediction: In the future universities will over programs in "Diversity Science".

Anonymous said...

This is hbd blog, no?

There never can be enough Ph.Ds could there?

For the current USA the answer is that a doctorate is not mostly a real doctorate. Most Ph.Ds are frauds compared to those granted before the great expansion of higher education in the 1950s.

The reason is too many high degrees with not enough high IQs to support them. The result is a continuing lowering of standards all down the system.

Here follows my concrete example. My Ph.D. Son was hired as an adjunct at a middle level university to teach an elective course to senior level mec. engineering students. He found none of them had any knowledge ( theoretical or working ) of the higher level math needed for the course--there were 25 or more students. Those students now have their B.S. (pun intended) in mec. engineering but are they REAL engineers?

Dan Kurt

Black Death said...

Last year I had breakfast with a man who had just retired as a professor of mathematics from a Big Ten school. He said that, when the university announced that it was going to fill the vacancy at the assistant professor level, there were over 200 applicants, mostly Asian, many with Ph.D.'s from the most prestigious schools in the country. Since there could be only one lucky winner, I asked him what would happen to the others. "Probably end up teaching math at community colleges after they get tired of doing postdocs." Indeed.

Anonymous said...

"we need more engineers in the private sector" - If we do, then wages will go up to signal that.

Truth said...

"It really is astonishing at how few math/physics/engineering phds are earned by blacks, even now with all the leg up/thumbs on the scales help that they get."

So maybe that's overrated?

elvisd said...

Ah, the classic biology vs. the physical sciences debate. A fascinating topic. The charge: biology is "soft", with lots of signal noise, multivariable confusion, and is rife to politicization and corruption by the social sciences.

Yet it is these vary problems that makes biology so compelling: the multivariable nature; the fact that so much of it can only be done under messy, uncontrolled field conditions, its inherent connection to nonscientific conditions.

And as some have noted, it is a discipline that is becoming increasingly inductive and data driven. Where people explored the stars, they now explore inward at the microscopic level. Genetics and biotech become disciplines increasingly subject to the whims of investment and speculation. Physics my enjoy its "clarity", but it knows all too where where the action is.

Anonymous said...

SAT and MAT test scores consistently showed my IQ was about 126-132, and physics kicked my ass at just a plain jane state school. I sailed through a masters program in foreign language/linguistics. Hardly any studying, lots of fun, little work.

PhD physics is way above 125 IQ.

Anonymous said...

In many years, not a single black gets a PhD in any useful field like Math, Engineering, Sciences,

http://www.jbhe.com/news_views/50_black_doctoraldegrees.html

For example, not a single African American earned a Ph.D. in astronomy or astrophysics in 2004. In all there were 165 Ph.D.s awarded in these fields. African Americans earned only 10 doctorates in mathematics. This was only 0.9 percent of all doctorates awarded in the field.

A major weakness is that blacks earned 13, or about 1 percent, of the nearly 1,200 doctorates in physics. In computer science, blacks won 0.7 percent of all Ph.D. awards. In the atmospheric sciences, less than 1 percent of all doctorates went to blacks. In chemistry, only 2.3 percent of Ph.D.s went to blacks. In the earth sciences such as geology, oceanography, and the atmospheric sciences, blacks were 1.3 percent of all doctoral recipients, down from 2.3 percent in 2003. In the ocean and marine sciences, only one of the 190 Ph.D.s in the discipline was awarded to an African American. In 2004, 148 African Americans were awarded a Ph.D. in the biological sciences. But they were only 2.5 percent of all doctorates awarded in the discipline. Black Ph.D. awards in the biological sciences did increase by 37 percent from 2003. That year, blacks were awarded 1.9 percent of all doctorates in the biological sciences.

The field of engineering also shows serious weakness in black doctoral student participation. Blacks also trail whites by a large margin in Ph.D.s in engineering. In 2004, 7.0 percent of all white doctorates were earned in the field of engineering. For African Americans, only 4.5 percent of all their doctorates were in engineering. In 2004 blacks earned a mere 1.6 percent of all engineering Ph.D.s

Matt said...

I'm a year from a Physics Ph.D. From my GRE scores, a rough heuristic estimate for my IQ would be a hair north of 140. While self-assessment is notoriously difficult, from my course grades and research production I'd say I'm a bit below average in my quite respectable but not top-10 program.

Physics is hard. I say this not to brag, but as an admission that it completely defeats me with considerable regulatory.

Ali said...

I can't recall anything written by Tyler that's struck me as being insightful and I've been reading his blog for years.

It's worth checking in regularly for the material he links to.

unix said...

"The reason is too many high degrees with not enough high IQs to support them. The result is a continuing lowering of standards all down the system."

Blacks are about 15% of the population. Only about 5% of them even have the IQs that are expected for university level education (plus 110), and yet 1% of physics Ph.Ds are black, and 7% of the engineering Ph.Ds. are black? It is statistically impossible there would be even that many blacks with Ph.Ds in these subjects, unless considerable affirmative action pressure were brought to bear on their admission to the programs, much less completing them successfully. The number of blacks in Ivy League schools prior to the 1960s was less than 1%. Even then there was a tendency to make allowances for blacks, but the percentage is realistic considering the abilities of most. The average Ph.D. in physics candidate is in the circa IQ 130 area. You could count the number blacks at that IQ level in the few thousands, in this country. I knew personally a black woman who gained a Ph.D. in physics. She was quite smart and her teachers (at least one of them, a woman) didn't sound as if they cut her any slack for being black, but I don't know for sure. In general, most of these Ph.D. candidates would have never have been accepted if they were not black.
Actually, far from being underrepresented in Ph.Ds. in the various sciences, I'd say they are quite overrepresented. Just as they are in the movies. If blacks were really accomplishing anything in the scientific realm, it wouldn't be necessary for Hollywood to turn white scientists and inventors into blacks. Or invent fictional ones. They'd make stories about the real black geniuses, if they actually existed in the numbers Hollywood imagines.

Steve Sailer said...

If you were an African-American who had what it takes to get a math-intensive Ph.D. why not get an MBA instead and go to work for a Goldman Sachs-style firm? You have to love science a whole lot to pass up Wall St. money.

I would guess that a big chunk of blacks getting engineering Ph.D.'s in the U.S. are foreign.

Anonymous said...

Physics is hard. I say this not to brag, but as an admission that it completely defeats me with considerable regulatory.

It's normal. I friend of mine is a successful theoretical physicist (an equation of minor importance is named after him). He admits being challenged by math all the time and not understanding results from other fields of physics most of the time. I'd say his IQ is 135-140.

Still, the point is that half of the graduate programs in the country are total shit (there are way, way too many of them!) where anyone with a firm understanding of high school subjects can get a PhD these days. One just has to work hard enough.

E. Rekshun said...

@ Anon 7:05 and Dave Davenport: A while back Steve Sailer discussed that Mexican teacher that had successfully taught a bunch of high school NAMs Calculus. Steve explained that these NAMs simply memorized how to solve a set of calculus problems, they never really understood calculus. This is true and this is exactly how I passed Calculus I,II, & III and Diff EQs with straight As in undergrad.

Anonymous said...

Here follows my concrete example. My Ph.D. Son was hired as an adjunct at a middle level university to teach an elective course to senior level mec. engineering students. He found none of them had any knowledge ( theoretical or working ) of the higher level math needed for the course--there were 25 or more students. Those students now have their B.S. (pun intended) in mec. engineering but are they REAL engineers?

Mech E doesn't really require higher math above calc, diff. equations, maybe some linear algebra.

Aria said...

Who the heck are all of these people on this thread pegging people's IQs? Even social scientists studying IQ cannot do this accurately without psychometric tests in hand.

'I'd say my next door neighbor's kid is a 140...' How is a top of the head guess like this even remotely accurate? Some people have great social skills that make people think they have much more intelligence than they have, others like people with Asperger's may be bright as hell but appear in a cloud or unable to vocalize clearly what is on their mind.

Steve has even written a bit about this, as I remember, with some blacks famously gifted at gab, but unable to pass basic level school tests.

Anonymous said...

Here is a recent paper on how the influx of Russian mathematicians in the 1990s hurt the careers of young American mathematicians.

American policy in the 90s was to brain drain Russia to lower wages in technical/professional fields in the US and to deindustrialize Russia as much as possible so it can't become an industrial power like the USSR and threaten American hegemony. This policy extends to other parts of the world as well.

Anonymous said...

"Biology is not easy. Biology is a lot more difficult than physics - this is quite self-evident. And that is precisely why most of the smarties stayed away from it for so long - too messy, too uncertain"

Picking up chicks is more difficult than philosophy.

Anonymous said...

Who the heck are all of these people on this thread pegging people's IQs? Even social scientists studying IQ cannot do this accurately without psychometric tests in hand.

Perhaps people smarter than you? Just how difficult is it to understand that it is reasonably easy and reliable to estimate one's IQ inside 0.5SD range based on 1) extensive interactions with a person and 2) numerous and well-known proxies for an IQ?

E.g., there are essentially no white PhDs in STEM with an IQ below 125. Or, almost no STEM professors in Top 20 universities with IQ below 130. It's all simple percentiles of something already sorted by IQ several times.

Anonymous said...

Picking up chicks is more difficult than philosophy.

"Roissy in DC" is a lot more insightful and infinitely better writer than Dan Dennett.

nefarious skeptic said...

I don't recommend any young American to get an advanced degree in the STEM fields. H1B and outsourcing will work against you. I read a recent survey done by Booz Allen that asked companies in the life sciences what their plans were regarding outsourcing. 67% of the companies surveyed replied that they plan to continue outsourcing R&D jobs to eastern Europe, India and China.

Anonymous said...

True. But I wasn't talking about reputable. I meant PhD granting places like Fisk University.

When someone asks for a guess re the minimum IQ for obtaining a Ph.D. in a subject, I assume he means a Ph.D. from a reputable university whose degrees signify real competence in the field, not some diploma mill where they print out any certificate you want for a big chunk of money and a modest expenditure of time and effort. I assume what he has in mind is someone who at least has a hope of employment as a real physicist. I made that wild guess because I remember reading that the average IQ for a university professor was around 130 and figured the profs in the hard sciences would definitely be bringing up the averages. (I also remember some blog discussion about the black string theorist S. James Gates in which people speculated that he was purely an affirmative-action hire with a maximum IQ of 120, which is absurd. Now, Gates is definitely no Edward Witten, but even a mediocre string theorist like Gates would need a bare minimum IQ of 140, even with affirmative action.)

Anonymous said...

""we need more engineers in the private sector" - If we do, then wages will go up to signal that."

Nope, not if multi-nationals can bring any any needed number of engineers from overseas at costs they set (heh, heh, it sure is nice that we control your visa...). You might be be amazed at the number of Indian engineers in silicon valley. Even more amazed at the number that are graduates of schools in India and have never attended US schools. A lot of them have gone back to India for a few weeks this time of year.

Anonymous said...

I don't recommend any young American to get an advanced degree in the STEM fields. H1B and outsourcing will work against you. I read a recent survey done by Booz Allen that asked companies in the life sciences what their plans were regarding outsourcing. 67% of the companies surveyed replied that they plan to continue outsourcing R&D jobs to eastern Europe, India and China.

IBM’s Internal Plan to Grow Earnings-Per-Share to $20 by 2015: Fire Most U.S. Employees

http://www.cringely.com/2012/04/not-your-fathers-IBM/

"The direct impetus for this column is IBM’s internal plan to grow earnings-per-share (EPS) to $20 by 2015. The primary method for accomplishing this feat, according to the plan, will be by reducing US employee head count by 78 percent in that time frame.

Reducing employees by more than three quarters in three years is a bold and difficult task. What will it leave behind? Who, under this plan, will still be a US IBM employee in 2015? Top management will remain, the sales organization will endure, as will employees working on US government contracts that require workers to be US citizens. Everyone else will be gone. Everyone."

Anonymous said...

I read a recent survey done by Booz Allen that asked companies in the life sciences what their plans were regarding outsourcing. 67% of the companies surveyed replied that they plan to continue outsourcing R&D jobs to eastern Europe, India and China.

Can you post the survey or a link to it? Thank you in advance.

Anonymous said...

"The thing is, anyone with IQ > 100 can get a Ph.D. in any field given enough perseverance."

Unfortunately, this is not true. Steve Hsu is possibly the only scientist discussing these things in public now. Please see for instance
http://archive.installgentoo.net/sci/thread/3940665
Note, that this is the IQ of the students not of the PhD recipients.
The drop-out rate at my grad school was at least 10%.

Since it is sometimes easier to relate to a personal anecdote, let me tell you my story. My IQ is 135-140 depending on the methodology. I would say that I was just about an average physics PhD student at one of the top-10 schools.

Finally, about all this discussion about the foreigners crowding out the natives. The more human capital we can import the better, even if it dampens the wages for the natives in the short term. The problem is that the trend is being reversed: more and more scientists are leaving the country, especially for Asia but also for Europe. The money and opportunities are not as good as before. It looks like America is losing its mojo.

JI said...

Impact of immigration? What, are we getting lots of lab scientists from Mexico?

Truth said...

"If you were an African-American who had what it takes to get a math-intensive Ph.D. why not get an MBA instead and go to work for a Goldman Sachs-style firm?"

IF you were a European-American why wouldn't you?

Anonymous said...

Here's another indicator that U.S. supply of gay activists has outstripped local consumption & needs to branch out:
http://www.google.com/diversity/legalise-love.html

Anonymous said...

Because blacks are a stratified pool with a vast admixture of white, American Indian, mestizo and Jewish genes, there probably are enough (nominally) blacks that you could have a disproportionate number legitimately successful in STEM fields to what the Bell Curve would predict.

The Bell Curve is only asymptotically correct to a sufficiently large population, and blacks in the US aren't all that large a population. In other words in reall life the curve has all kinds of bumps and dips, because there are clusters of "blacks", in reality mulattoes, in many areas that are pretty smart and there are lumps of blacks in others that are even stupider than one might predict. That is especially true after the Great Society, where the stupidest and laziest young black girls all promptly got knocked up by the least responsible, most roostery pimpin' macks to get the AFDC check that gave them their own roachy apartment as opposed to living in mama's roachy apartment.

ben tillman said...

"Who the heck are all of these people on this thread pegging people's IQs? Even social scientists studying IQ cannot do this accurately without psychometric tests in hand."

Perhaps people smarter than you? Just how difficult is it to understand that it is reasonably easy and reliable to estimate one's IQ inside 0.5SD range based on 1) extensive interactions with a person and 2) numerous and well-known proxies for an IQ?


Right. You can't judge the IQ of people smarter than yourself, but it's pretty easy to nail the IQ of everyone else. I remember watching TV with friends a few years ago when Howard Stern came on. His guest was a stripper, and they were going to give her an IQ test. I listened to her for 30 seconds and said, "It's 88,; let's change the ******* channel and watch something else."

Thirty minutes later we got the results, and of course she had scored an 88.

And an IQ of 130 won't cut it for a real physics Ph.D. The minimum is around 138; the average, obviously, is higher.

Anonymous said...

Because blacks are a stratified pool with a vast admixture of white, American Indian, mestizo and Jewish genes, there probably are enough (nominally) blacks that you could have a disproportionate number legitimately successful in STEM fields to what the Bell Curve would predict.

If this is true, then there must be a larger than expected standard deviation in black intelligence test results (as opposed to, say, whites or asians).

Any data to support this?

Anonymous said...

People say "math and physics" like the are the flip side of the same coin.

But then how come there are far more women mathematicians than physicists?

The representation of women in physics is much closer to that in engineering than it is in mathematics.

Anonymous said...

The thing is, anyone with IQ > 100 can get a Ph.D. in any field given enough perseverance."

Unfortunately, this is not true. Steve Hsu is possibly the only scientist discussing these things in public now.


Jesus F Christ! Do you people have any reading comprehension??? I was not talking about U of Oregon PhD program! The fact is, 50% of the PhD-granting programs in the USA are total utter crap who will graduate any imbecile who is docile enough to stick around long enough. Hsu's institution is in top 10% - a totally different story. An average PhD today = below average Master 50 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Thirty minutes later we got the results, and of course she had scored an 88.

Impossible. The stripper was Jewish. I saw that show.

Anonymous said...

Finally, about all this discussion about the foreigners crowding out the natives. The more human capital we can import the better, even if it dampens the wages for the natives in the short term.

(1) Why is it "better" to crowd out Americans?

(2) More human beings = less food, energy, and land per capita.

(3) We were doing just fine before they came.

Anonymous said...

You can't judge the IQ of people smarter than yourself

Why can't you? No, you can!

1) With 99% certainty one can evaluate that another person is smarter. There are lots of people smarter than I am - and I know it damn well. 2) One does not have to have Michael Jackson's ability to evaluate Le Bron's skills against Kobe's. Same with IQ - there are many measures the skill shows up in real life.

Anonymous said...

Impact of immigration? What, are we getting lots of lab scientists from Mexico?

What percentage of foreign labor in the United States is Mexican?

Anonymous said...

I, and many of my friends, have PhD in physics, engineering, or the other hard sciences and none of them are doing anything related to their degree. When they say there aren't enough scientists what they mean is, "There aren't enough cheap politically correct scientists." If you are male, Caucasian, and a US citizen you will not find a job. It is that simple. I tell students only get an advanced degree if you are being paid to do it, and are guaranteed a promotion - otherwise it isn't worth your time.

That is the truth, without the PC bullsh*t - and most males, who are the ones who move things forward have gotten the message and are punting on spending the time and money. Of course the are fewer innovations - you have neutered those who drive science and civilization forward. We are in decline and it will accelerate as the few hold outs retire or give up.

I do finance, a
on Wall Street where the real money is - yep I am the 1%. I would have loved to do science on a pittance. If I cannot I will follow the money to ensure I do well and everyone else be damned.

Hapalong Cassidy said...

Evidence that there are too many Phd's in the sciences can be found just by looking at the salaries of professors at public universities (which are usually public record). Compare the salaries of Physics or Biology professors with those of Accounting or Finance professors. I imagine it's easier to get a Phd in Accounting than it is in Physics. Yet an accounting professor at a 2nd or 3rd tier public university still makes a lot more money than a physics professor at a top tier school.

unix said...

"Because blacks are a stratified pool with a vast admixture of white, American Indian, mestizo and Jewish genes, there probably are enough (nominally) blacks that you could have a disproportionate number legitimately successful in STEM fields to what the Bell Curve would predict.
roostery pimpin' macks to get the AFDC check that gave them their own roachy apartment as opposed to living in mama's roachy apartment."

They don't have a "vast" admixture. In fact, the vast majority appear to be vastly black. The "mixture" comes from a minority of about 5-10 % mulattos who intermarried among themselves and other blacks. They are said to be about 20% non-black on the average, but many, many of them are more black. In my state they are about 50% of the population; in most east coast states they are an extremely large "minority", and in major metropolises, they have been a majority for decades. Accurate data, predicting behavior, has been gleaned from far smaller and less varied numbers. And huge numbers of them live quite well. I know, as I live next to PG County, MD. They are also invading Montgomery County, and turning it into, well, what they turn such places into. The ones that are moving are "middle class" and have been so for a while, yet have already demanded that "gifted child" programs be curtailed because they are racist. Although it might be the white libs that are propelling that.

Their IQ scores, like their general behavior, is predictable everywhere. The excuses people come up with.

unix said...

Anonymous said...
Hmmm, not enough jobs in biology. According to the NYT in 2011, "About 58 percent of all bachelor’s, master’s and doctorates in biology are awarded to women." Most of the boo-hoo stories in the WaPo article are women. Is it just me, or does every field that's overwhelmed by women turn to sh*t?

Perhaps if it is truly "overwhelmed." Once you affirmative action in anyway, that happens. However, I know women working at NASA (Phds, interns) who are truly brilliant, but they are not "overwhelming" in numbers. Some are gorgeous too. A little unfair, I think, to be so beautiful and so brainy. btw, it is true that the more mediocre men were the most threatened by them. or even some brilliant men who were just married to brilliant women. One man went back for a Ph.D. because his wife (whose job is more presitigious than his) has one. I can see where it would cause tension. I have heard from other scientists that she got the promotion on merit, but still. As stated though, they are not terribly numerous.

nefarious skeptic said...

Anon 9:12 here is the link:

http://www.booz.com/na/home/39980529/41024203/50268843?tid=39970563

Anonymous said...

"Nope, not if multi-nationals can bring any any needed number of engineers from overseas at costs they set (heh, heh, it sure is nice that we control your visa...). You might be be amazed at the number of Indian engineers in silicon valley. Even more amazed at the number that are graduates of schools in India and have never attended US schools. A lot of them have gone back to India for a few weeks this time of year." - If wages aren't going up then it is obvious that we need none of them(regardless of business desire/want for cheap foreign labor), and I wouldn't be amazed, I see it here in Texas as well.

"Impact of immigration? What, are we getting lots of lab scientists from Mexico?" - It may surprise you to learn that other nations are gearing up for the chain migration-great American giveaway sweepstakes.

"Finally, about all this discussion about the foreigners crowding out the natives. The more human capital we can import the better, even if it dampens the wages for the natives in the short term." - Somebody doesn't know about regression to mean, or group tribal loyalties for that matter.

Otis McWrong said...

"If biology were that easy, why are there so many unsolved problems and unmet needs? Anon."

Because many if not most problems are unsolvable. To paraphrase Something Some Guy Said "a problem with no solution isn't a problem, merely an unpleasant fact."

As for "unmet needs" you'd need to define "needs" and how they apply to biology. Usually when we hear/read the term "unmet needs" it's followed by an assertion that some group somewhere deserves more of some other group's money than they're currently receiving. As far as I know, "shortages" of education spending, welfare, AIDS research, women in the boardoom, blacks in CEO roles, etc aren't biology problems.

Anonymous said...

re" Mech E doesn't really require higher math above calc, diff. equations, maybe some linear algebra." Anon 7/8/12 4:56 PM

Where do you place knowledge of the Fourier Transform Series and the Laplace Transform? It is obvious that you are unlikely to be a mec. engineer at any level.

Dan Kurt

Aria said...

"Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who the heck are all of these people on this thread pegging people's IQs? Even social scientists studying IQ cannot do this accurately without psychometric tests in hand.

Perhaps people smarter than you? Just how difficult is it to understand that it is reasonably easy and reliable to estimate one's IQ inside 0.5SD range based on 1) extensive interactions with a person and 2) numerous and well-known proxies for an IQ?


- The point is, at the end of the day, its still largely a guess (Most people don't know the actual IQ scores of most people around them to have an accurate feel for what a typical 140 IQ person is like), and most people's guesses are heavily influenced by sociability and other factors that aren't "IQ" per se, esp. the farther away your guess is from the average.

Perhaps if you were a bit brighter, you could understand the difference between saying," that guy seems bright" and saying "that guy has an IQ of 140.

Aria said...

""Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who the heck are all of these people on this thread pegging people's IQs? Even social scientists studying IQ cannot do this accurately without psychometric tests in hand.

Perhaps people smarter than you? Just how difficult is it to understand that it is reasonably easy and reliable to estimate one's IQ inside 0.5SD range based on 1) extensive interactions with a person and 2) numerous and well-known proxies for an IQ?"


- BTW You implicitly acknowledged my point when you couched your argument in estimating an IQ within _/- a half std deviation, which is quite large instead of estimating a defined number like 140.

Anonymous said...

Where do you place knowledge of the Fourier Transform Series and the Laplace Transform? It is obvious that you are unlikely to be a mec. engineer at any level.

LOL. It's obvious you don't know what you're talking about. Fourier series and Laplace transform are just a part of calculus. You can learn it in the 3rd semester of calculus. Advanced high schoolers can learn it.