Falling Behind?: Boom, Bust, and the Global Race for Scientific Talent


Product Details

Princeton University Press
Publish Date
6.24 X 9.57 X 1.02 inches | 1.26 pounds
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About the Author

Michael S. Teitelbaum is a Wertheim Fellow in the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School and senior advisor to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in New York. Until 2011 he was vice president of the Sloan Foundation. His previous books include The Global Spread of Fertility Decline, A Question of Numbers, The Fear of Population Decline, and The British Fertility Decline.


"Falling Behind? makes a convincing case."---Andrew Hacker, New York Review of Books
"[Teitelbaum's] discussion usefully pulls together previous work by him and others that shows that the existing funding model and practices of universities have uncoupled the supply of new scientists from the need for new scientists, particularly in the life sciences. . . . Falling Behind? also illuminates a bigger picture: Scientists must recognize that the solution to low grant acceptance rates and poor job prospects for new scientists is not increased public funding for research."---Adam B. Jaffe, Science
"[A]n outstanding and important new book. . . . Falling Behind? . . . brings desperately needed clarity and context to a crucial issue: the nation's much-ballyhooed but essentially fictitious 'shortage' of scientific talent. Drawing on Teitelbaum's decades of experience with labor and migration issues . . . the book applies subtle analysis and encyclopedic knowledge to the task of understanding the dynamics of the scientific labor market. . . . Every politician, policymaker, advocate, and ordinary citizen who wants to understand the reality and the genuine challenges currently facing American research and researchers . . . should read and absorb what Teitelbaum terms as his book's 'core findings'. . . . Fascinating and revealing nuggets stud the book, displaying the depth and originality of Teitelbaum's research. . . . A review of this length can offer only a taste of the insight, information, and astute judgment that Teitelbaum brings to bear on the history, structure, prospects, and very real current problems of the U.S. scientific enterprise. . . . [T]he book's precise exposition and granular detail make it valuable even for those who already are well versed. For the much larger number of people who are concerned about American science but unfamiliar with the dynamics and history of the scientific labor market, this book will be revelatory . . . Teitelbaum's book should transform this important national conversation."---Beryl Lieff Benderly, Science Careers
"Well-researched . . . Teitelbaum begins Falling Behind by examining the many hyperbolic claims of the current so-called science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) crisis. He expertly dissects these assertions and clearly demonstrates the weak assumptions and sloppy reasoning underlying each. . . . Especially useful is the light Teitelbaum shines on the many financial and political incentives that motivate industry, academia and government to proclaim an engineering and science crisis. . . . A very useful addition to the science and engineering crisis literature."---Robert N. Charette, IEEE Spectrum
"A rewarding read."---Alex Usher, Higher Education Strategy Associates
"Teitelbaum shows how the U.S. government's science and technology policy has been marked by groundless scares, nonsensical rhetoric, interest-group politics, stop-and-go instability, and misaligned incentives. He does this in a well-documented, restrained, academic way, which gives much weight to his stringent criticisms."---Pierre Lemieux, Regulation Magazine
"Readers with interests in science policy, careers or funding will find this book fascinating, although often disquieting. Teitelbaum's analyses of historical alarm/boom/bust cycles and (in particular) the NIH budget-doubling brouhaha are illuminating, and he has a knack for anticipating potential criticisms."---Margaret Harris, Physics World
"The book provides an interesting history of US science and engineering workforce studies and actions, and sensible recommendations and principles given the ever-changing workforce."---Deborah Stine, Chemistry World
"Despite policy differences that readers may have with Teitelbaum, the concerns he raises about booms and busts in the scientific workforce (due in large part to failures of public policy) should command broad interest."---Daniel Kuehn, Cato Journal