News of the WeekU.S. POSTDOCS

Report Urges Better Treatment, Status

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Science  15 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5486, pp. 1854-1855
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5486.1854b

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For years, U.S. postdocs have been complaining about paltry salaries, lack of benefits, and lowly status. This week, a committee of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering and the Institute of Medicine validated many of their complaints and lent its considerable weight to efforts to provide greater institutional support for postdocs. At the same time, however, the panel sidestepped two burning issues by explicitly declining to recommend a boost in postdoc salaries or take a position on whether to curtail the size of the postdoc workforce, which has more than doubled in the past 20 years to an estimated 52,000.