ACS Presidential Commission on Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences
ACS press conference: “Advancing Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences.” Questions? Email GradEdWebcast@acs.org
Commission report to the US Policy Advisor on Science and Technology
The Commission was charged by ACS President Bassam Z. Shakhashiri with addressing two overarching questions:
- What are the purposes of graduate education in the chemical sciences?
- What steps should be taken to ensure that graduate education addresses important societal issues as well as the needs and aspirations of graduate students?
Seven working groups explored the following themes:
- Is the current structure of different types of departments in the chemical sciences (chemistry, chemical engineering, chemistry and biochemistry, chemistry and chemical biology, chemical and biomolecular engineering, etc.) a strength or a weakness with respect to graduate education?
- What are the employment issues for graduate students in both industrial and academic settings? Are we providing the right educational opportunities?
- What are the financial support mechanisms for graduate education in the chemical sciences? Is the current mix the best one?
- Is the current profile of our graduates the correct one, not only in terms of domestic vs. international, but in terms of diversity along other axes as well? Do they have the proper background for the type of graduate education we want them to attain?
- What are the expectations of graduate students, are our educational institutions meeting them, and what promises do they make to students, both explicitly and implicitly? In particular, what should be the lengths of the graduate student program and any subsequent postdoctoral training? And why is the attrition rate for Ph.D. students in the chemical sciences as high as it is? (Only 62% finish within ten years.)
Larry Faulkner (Chair), President Emeritus, University of Texas at Austin
Paul Houston (Executive Director), Georgia Institute of Technology
Bill Banholzer, Dow Chemical
Jacqueline Barton, California Institute of Technology
Stacey Bent, Stanford University
Ron Breslow, Columbia University
Gary Calabrese, Corning
Pat Confalone, DuPont
Michael Doyle, University of Maryland
Marye Anne Fox, University of California San Diego
Joe Francisco, Purdue University
Chad Mirkin, Northwestern University
Larry Overman, University of California Irvine
Hunter Rawlings, Association of American Universities
Geraldine Richmond, University of Oregon
Richard Scheller, Genentech
Gary Schuster (Consultant), Georgia Institute of Technology
Joel Shulman, University of Cincinnati
Peter Stang, University of Utah
Matt Tirrell, University of Chicago
George Whitesides, Harvard University
Mark S. Wrighton, Washington University in St. Louis
Comments and questions to the Commission are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.