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Why academia?

Why academia?

why not?


Anton Nekrutenko

April 15, 2019

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  1. Try it

  2. This presentation has been made possible by: Martin Cech, Delphine

    Lariviere, Han Mei, Nate Coraor, Emil Bouvier, Nick Stoler, John Chilton and the Galaxy Team
  3. None
  4. A brief history of the American System

  5. Anglophilia of Colonial Era 1636 Harvard College 1693 William and

    Mary 1701 Yale 1747 College of New Jersey 1746 King College 1764 Rhode Island College 1749 The Academy of Pennsylvania
  6. Anglophilia of Colonial Era American colleges united teaching and evaluation

    within a single institution They also curtailed power of faculty and strengthened the power of presidents College financing was well intended but insufficient = tuition was needed Philanthropy - from educating “savages” to “flexible interpretation of wills and bequests” and donations from pirates. Naming after benefactors: the Yale example Fund-raising begins early
  7. Anglophilia of Colonial Era For young men like Adams, the

    value of a higher education lay not in professional training but elsewhere. It derived from the belief that a course of learning endowed those who completed it with cultural attributes that were signs of superior status . This was by no means a crude , calculating attitude , but rather one composed of multiple , scarcely conscious , sets of values . The ability to quote a Greek maxim in a legal brief was not essential but helpful. More important was the prevailing conviction that those who had sharpened their minds on the complexities of Greek thought would be better able as a result to deal with the day - to - day problems of trespass and contract. Most important was the awareness that colonial society still put a premium on and assigned practical rewards to people who could display such signs of gentlemanly rank as command of the classics. Thelin, John R.. A History of American Higher Education (p. 36). Johns Hopkins University Press.
  8. New National Period 1800: 25 degree-granting colleges 1860: 241 Higher

    education is not a National effort but a state one 1785 University of Georgia 1789 University of North Carolina 1819 University of Virginia Hilltop Colleges
  9. Morrill Act 1862/1890

  10. Einheit von Lehre und Forschung • The integration of teaching

    and research • Freedom to teach and to study • Autonomous pursuit of truth • Community of teachers and students Alexander von Humboldt
  11. Johns Hopkins University 1. All sciences are worthy of promotion

    2. Religion has nothing to fear from science 3. Remote utility is quite as worthy to be thought of as immediate advantage 4. The best scholars will almost invariably be those who make special attainments on the foundation of a broad and liberal culture 5. The best teachers are usually those who are free, competent and willing to make original researches in the library and the laboratory. Daniel Coit Gilman
  12. Morrill Act 1862/1890

  13. Penn State: 1855 | Pugh era

  14. Penn State: 1882 Atherton era 1. Lobbying in DC 2.

    Hatch Act 1887 3. Morrill Act of 1890 4. Great Land-grant Universities of the Midwest and West George W. Atherton
  15. Land grant institutions: Morrill Act 1862/1890

  16. 1890 - 1920: Education is fashionable A clue is found

    in the experience of Henry Adams, the brooding Boston patrician and Harvard history professor who was puzzled by American popular culture. In 1876 an undergraduate matter-of-factly told Adams that “a degree from Harvard was worth money in Chicago.” Although Adams was bothered by this observation, most Americans were not. College-going was rising in popularity, for several reasons. It was a means of socioeconomic mobility and hence an experience coveted by an increasing number of adolescents. In addition to increasing earning power, a bachelor’s degree was perceived as a way for a nouveau riche family to gain social standing. An education at a prestigious college was most likely to be prized by a father who had made a fortune but had not gone to college himself. The self-made man wanted his sons to have the shared campus experience that would position them to associate with young men from established, educated families. Thelin, John R.. A History of American Higher Education (p. 155). Johns Hopkins University Press.
  17. Post war expansion

  18. After the War: The GI bill • How to adjust

    wartime production to peacetime? • How to pacify returning troops?
  19. Stanford model and industry cooperation Frederick Terman

  20. Science The Endless Frontier Vannevar Bush 1. … there must

    be stability of funds over a period of years so that long-range programs may be undertaken. 2. The agency ... should be composed of citizens selected only on the basis of their interest in and capacity to promote the work of the agency. 3. The agency should promote research through contracts or grants to organizations outside the Federal Government. It should not operate any laboratories of its own. 4. Support of basic research ... must leave the internal control ... to the institutions themselves. This is of the utmost importance. 5. While assuring complete independence and freedom of research carried on in the institutions receiving public funds, and while retaining discretion in the allocation of funds among such institutions, the Foundation proposed herein must be responsible to the President and the Congress.
  21. The ramifications of “Big Science” 1. Academic freedom 2. The

    distribution skew 3. “Rich got richer” 4. Hard money versus Soft money 5. Grants don’t pay for teaching 6. Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 7. This situation still persists Alberts et al. 2014
  22. Спутник

  23. Soviet model: The power of rigidity 1. Education is free

    2. Universities are not research institutions per se 3. Curriculum is rigid 4. Admission requires creative approach 5. Student = slave apprentice (in good sense)
  24. Soviet model: Make life slightly better Koroliov Solzhenitsyn Tupolev

  25. Great Migrations

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  28. So? Don’t they pay, like, 6 figure salaries in the

    Bay Area? I’ll just be a data analyst for Illumina...
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  30. But, why?

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  32. 1. You can do whatever you want 2. You can

    work with anyone 3. You can live in a bubble 4. You can leave a legacy
  33. Everything is a distribution

  34. BG has one key advantage: It is interdisciplinary

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  36. Life Sciences as Aerospace Engineering

  37. Research is diverse

  38. Dataset size and complexity Number of users

  39. Dataset size and complexity Number of users Clinical High propensity

    for standardization Non clinical Low propensity for standardization
  40. Individual research projects

  41. Academia (as any human activity) has issues

  42. 1. It is a (optimistic) model of society 2. Some

    practices can be improved 3. The phenomenon of “no novelty” 4. Be kind to your colleagues
  43. The French System and the pursuit of happiness (a.k.a. “I

    can’t wait till my grant expires”)
  44. What I am grateful for ...

  45. Robert J. Baker Wen-Hsiung Li (李文雄)

  46. How to choose an advisor?

  47. 1. Are there 40+ postdocs in the lab? 2. Do

    students get first author pubs? 3. Is there a paper/Ph.D. ratio?
  48. The take-home message

  49. 1. Try it (you can do customer support for BioRad

    later) 2. Be relentless in getting papers and grants out 3. View start-up as your lottery ticket 4. Be a peer to your spouse 5. Tenure is a not an institutional problem 6. There is bad advice 7. What is the worst thing that can happen?
  50. Colors We used (nearly) the “Paired” colormap for the grant