You are on page 1of 32

Social Studies of Science

http://sss.sagepub.com Preparing the Next Generation of Scientists: The Social Process of Managing Students
Robert A. Campbell Social Studies of Science 2003; 33; 897 DOI: 10.1177/0306312703336004 The online version of this article can be found at: http://sss.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/33/6/897

Published by:
http://www.sagepublications.com

Additional services and information for Social Studies of Science can be found at: Email Alerts: http://sss.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Subscriptions: http://sss.sagepub.com/subscriptions Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Permissions: http://www.sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav Citations http://sss.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/33/6/897

Downloaded from http://sss.sagepub.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20, 2010

ABSTRACT The present paper examines aspects of how students are trained to be scientists during their years in graduate school. The data were collected through open-ended interviews with academic research scientists, and the framework for analysis is provided by a generic social process scheme. My objective is to demonstrate how the social process of managing students is integral to our understanding of the day-to-day activities of scientists. Among the findings is the notion that what is formally taught and written down is not as significant as those things that the students learn through doing and participating in formal and informal interaction with senior students and faculty. The data also appear to suggest that any notion we might have of the rigid and prescribed nature of graduate science education does not match what actually takes place. Rather, the successful completion of research projects and the transition from student to scientist emerges through social interaction that reflects individual differences and the circumstances arising in particular situations and contexts. Keywords enculturation, generic social processes, graduate science training, socialization

Preparing the Next Generation of Scientists: The Social Process of Managing Students
Robert A. Campbell

In the present paper I contribute to a research thread already well established in this Journal through a series of articles that has as its focus the socialization and enculturation of science graduate students (Roth & Bowen, 1999, 2001; Delamont & Atkinson, 2001). Roth and Bowen are primarily concerned with the knowledge production activities of science students, especially the ways in which observations and analysis are meditated through instrumentation and mathematical conventions. Delamont and Atkinson describe the formal supervision and informal enculturation processes that graduate students go through as they make the transition from undergraduate students operating in a relatively controlled environment to mature scientists, who are able to carry out, confidently and competently, the ‘work’ of scientific research from conceptualization to publication. Among other things, these authors draw attention to the importance of tacit knowledge and everyday problem solving, as students
Social Studies of Science 33/6(December 2003) 897–927 © SSS and SAGE Publications (London, Thousand Oaks CA, New Delhi) [0306-3127(200312)33:6;897–927;040177] www.sagepublications.com
Downloaded from http://sss.sagepub.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20, 2010

898

Social Studies of Science 33/6

learn to deal with the indeterminate and open-ended nature of independent fieldwork and the uncertain and unstable conditions that often surround laboratory research. Their data show that one of the major phenomena that differentiates undergraduate from graduate science training is that graduate science students not only become aware of, but they must learn to cope with, the often messy and contingent nature of sciences.1 So, contrary to our expectations that the training of scientists might follow some rigid and prescriptive structure reflecting a popular view of the rational and objective nature of science itself, we are discovering that science education is an intersubjective accomplishment, arising out of a good deal of trial, error and negotiation among faculty and students. In light of this observation, my specific contribution to this important line of research is to report on how science faculty members view and engage in the process of preparing the next generation of scientists. My concern here is not with epistemological issues of scientific knowledge construction, nor am I attempting to detail the methods and discursive practices employed by scientists and students on a daily basis. Rather, I am interested in describing the social processes that scientists identify as constituting the task of training graduate students. While some may view what I present here as partial or one-sided, I contend that as long as the scientists themselves continue to construct, maintain, and pass on their perspectives, then exploring the social processes associated with their perspectives should be of great interest to anyone interested in the social study of science. My basic premise here is that, as with other social groups, processes of socialization and enculturation are an integral aspect of what constitutes science. If we are to gain a comprehensive and accurate understanding of the scientific enterprise as a human endeavor, then we must gain sufficient insight into how the culture reproduces itself.2 As part of this process, we should be interested in discovering how scientists describe the activities they engage in, as they prepare the next generation of scientists. The framework for analysis that I employ here is based in symbolic interactionism and in the qualitative research tradition.3 Specifically, I use the generic social process scheme that was developed by Robert Prus as a means of facilitating conceptual development through the collection and analysis of qualitative data.4 What this means is that the questions asked of respondents, the way in which transcripts were analyzed, and the way that data are presented use common social processes as ‘sensitizing concepts’ (Blumer, 1969: 158), rather than as typologies of action. In other words, we are interested in structuring action only to the extent that it helps us to communicate our ideas and observations to others.5 I refer to the activities documented here as constituting a social process of ‘managing students’, a critically important and vastly understudied set of activities engaged in by academic research scientists. The data presented here come from a larger study of the daily activity of academic research scientists (Campbell, 1998). The objective of the larger study was to gain insight into those social processes that constituted
Downloaded from http://sss.sagepub.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20, 2010

Campbell: Preparing the Next Generation of Scientists 899 the day-to-day practice of academic science. Downloaded from http://sss. Existing (more established) members of the scientific community engage in a range of formal and informal activities with students that help the newcomers acquire the perspectives of the community.7 The respondents reflect a range of experience from five to more than 30 years. for present purposes.11 While many researchers may acknowledge that new scientists participate in activities common to new members of other groups.8 I purposefully allowed the scientists to take the interviews in whatever direction they saw fit. and to discuss any other pertinent activities that they were engaged in at that time. In other words. they gain stocks of knowledge both through interaction with established members and through participation in the intersubjective accomplishment of science. as taking up major portions of their time.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. As with medical doctors and members of other professions. In the interview process. rather than generalities or the fine details of the relevant scientific theories. and graduate students. and they also represent a diverse set of research programs. however. chemists (n 8). I asked the scientists to describe the sorts of activities that constituted their research on a daily basis.10 Becoming Scientists As new members become part of the scientific enterprise. while attempting to ensure that they provided descriptions of specific activities and processes. and dealing with students in the classroom and in the laboratory. post-doctoral researchers. and much of what they learn. to as great an extent as possible.9 Consequently. ‘Scientific experience in particular derives from special conditions established by the history of ideas and by society. The intention was to base the research on a fairly broad notion of what constitutes an academic research scientist. 2010 . in what follows.6 These four disciplines were selected because they represent the historically most common division of the natural sciences in academic settings. More specifically. with a review of how science education has been viewed by some major contributors to science studies. In this respect. scientists identified such activities as pursuing funding. I let the scientists speak for themselves. through practice). geologists (n 4). material is drawn from a series of open-ended interviews (n 28) with biologists (n 9). they attribute meanings to these objects through processes of interpretation that are mediated by patterns of social interaction centered on training. they learn by doing (that is. Ludwik Fleck (1979) suggested that there is something special taking place in the case of the scientific enterprise. managing equipment. with varying levels of funding and with widely varying numbers of collaborators. and physicists (n 7) at Canadian universities. As they encounter the various objects that make up their life-world. rather than selecting representatives from a particular subdiscipline for a more focused exploration. I begin. new scientists encounter a complex worldview that has been constructed through the relationships and associations among many groups.sagepub. they are not passive recipients of knowledge.

the scientific community.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. (Fleck. however. Fleck provided a religious analogy. The Holy Ghost as it were descends upon the novice. which is. . but also it may be that part of managing students in science to establish the perception that the scientific community is selfcontained and self-reliant. as a whole. 1961). This process of initiation might be interpreted to support an internalist view of the scientific enterprise. irreplaceable by a ‘generally rational’ organization of ideas . during which the authoritarian suggestion of ideastakes place. This life-world ‘becomes natural and. where every aspect of one’s behavior appears to be controlled by some objective and impersonal force that is an integral part of the structure of science. the extraordinary nature of science is reflected in the fact that entry is restricted to extraordinary individuals. who will undergo a correspondingly extraordinary process of socialization. So. as the socialization process continues it should become more and more difficult for the new member to see how things could be otherwise. because he will never meet anyone who has not been similarly processed. In other words.sagepub. Thomas Kuhn (1970 Downloaded from http://sss. Entry into science is somehow more restrictive and more closely associated with what members of society. 1979: 104) Socialization into science. (Fleck. An intellect is prepared for a given field. . can be conceived of as an all-encompassing immersion into an institutional setting. Thus.900 Social Studies of Science 33/6 Traditional patterns of training are involved in this experience. almost unconscious. 1979: 48). who will now be able to see what has hitherto been invisible to him. it will become so self-evident that the person will completely forget he has ever been initiated. and acquiring the perspectives of. every field of knowledge. 2010 . every religious community. as a result of education and training as well as through his participation in the communication of thoughts within his collective’ (Fleck. 1979: 54) As new members of the scientific community embark upon their careers. not only are we left with the impression that scientists are unlikely to encounter others who do not share their perspectives. they acquire perspectives and achieve identities which reflect the systems of meaning that have been established by the existing members. . initiated. Part of what makes the socialization process special is the fact that members of the scientific community expend great effort to make their worldview seem as natural as possible. There is an apprenticeship period for every trade. If the initiation has been disseminated for generations as in the case of introducing the basic ideas of physics. it is received into a self-contained world and. as it were. 1979: 141). Fleck’s comments make us aware not only of the centrality of achieving an identity within. not accessible to everyone’ (Fleck. for Fleck. have determined to be special knowledge. like breathing. then. In other words. but also how scientists and students participate together in the intersubjective construction of the scientific life-world. while it may overstate the case to conceive of science as a total institution (Goffman.

he (1970 [1962]: 137) suggested that the ‘domination of mature science by such texts significantly differentiates its development pattern from that of other fields’. however. Kuhn (1970 [1962]: 20) balanced this view with the argument that: ‘Given a textbook. The fact that both of these scholars came to view science in what might be considered radically different ways from the majority of their peers might account for their emphasis on the rigidity and dogmatism of scientific training. For example.Campbell: Preparing the Next Generation of Scientists 901 [1962]) provided further insight into how this naturalization process takes place. In his discussion of normal science.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. and it is this kind of science that new members are prepared to perform. but must also learn to identify where the gaps in this corpus are. Students learn preliminary notions of normal science from textbooks that ‘expound the body of accepted theory. Both Fleck and Kuhn identified this kind of training as. probably more so than any other except perhaps orthodox theology’. illustrate many or all of its successful applications.12 Both Fleck and Kuhn to some extent drew upon their own experiences as science students to develop their ideas. Kuhn’s concept of normal science then is similar to what Fleck referred to as ‘vademecum’ or handbook science. Kuhn (1970 [1962]: 166) argued that the education of scientists ‘is a narrow and rigid education. Offering his own religious analogy. and compare these applications with exemplary observations and experiments’ (1970 [1962]: 10). 2010 . it is an open question whether the actual activities scientists engage in when managing students are unique to science.sagepub. At the same Downloaded from http://sss. or whether they might share similarities with what goes on in other human groups. and how those gaps might be filled. So. One of the implications of this statement might be that in order to become a full and active participant in the scientific enterprise. this statement might imply that success in science involves moving beyond the seemingly more objective elements of the particular science into a realm of activities that emerges out of processes of interpretation and interaction with others. but also with respect to the amount of training involved. Similarly. new members of the scientific community learn to view these texts both as repositories of the established knowledge of their group and as recipe books for their own work. At the same time. however. the new member must learn an established corpus of knowledge and techniques. particularly through the use of textbooks. might be viewed as exceptional not just with respect to the way in which its new members are trained. This observation might appear to imply that the structure of the scientific enterprise constrains the activities of the individual scientist to the point where human interaction and interpretation may have little or no impact. the creative scientist can begin his research where it leaves off and thus concentrate exclusively upon the subtlest and most esoteric aspects of the natural phenomena that concern his group’. Kuhn placed an emphasis on the training of student scientists. then. then. Science. at least present in a more dominant form than is the case in other areas of human group life. if not unique to the scientific enterprise.

(Reskin. Reporting on a study of graduate supervision in experimental physics. Geoffrey Walford (1981) points out that individual differences among supervisors and students. even if the details of these are more case specific. his position is not inconsistent with the idea that there are common. or generic. Elsewhere Walford (1983: 252) describes the contribution that graduate students make to the research of their supervisors. 1979: 130–31) Irrespective of Reskin’s findings with respect to the relative importance of various factors. and recommendations and accordingly may increase their students’ visibility to employers and other status judges. their experiences made them particularly aware of the processes surrounding the establishment and maintenance of the scientific communities of which they were a part. Sponsors may provide other rather substantial ascriptive advantages as well. little detail is provided with respect to the specific activities that individual scientists engage in with their students. the student’s graduate supervisor. however. she identifies a number of processes and activities (for example. sponsors transmit to them professional skills that will enhance their scientific performance and hence their job prospects. Building on a Mertonian understanding of science and employing statistical analyses of citation and biographical data on a sample of scientists. including introductions. In training students.sagepub. makes it nearly impossible to suggest that there could be anything like a single supervisory role. nominations. co-authoring of publications. Reskin suggests that the success of new scientists may be linked to the quality of training they receive from their sponsors/teachers and the related passing on of professional status: [S]ponsors’ influence on their students’ careers may reflect both achievement and ascription.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. as well as the diverse circumstances under which they work. For example. stating that ‘efficiency and probably quality of Downloaded from http://sss. While it is reasonable to conclude from their work that training is an integral aspect of the intersubjective accomplishment of science. Barbara Reskin (1979) discusses the relationship between sponsorship and scientists’ careers. sponsors also ascribe to them an origin status in the scientific stratification system. and perhaps pointless. writing letters of reference) that take place in the training of science students. namely. that center on interaction with a particular established member of the scientific community. But in assuming responsibility for students. More detailed analyses of the training process in science have emerged from both quantitative and qualitative research projects. social processes that all supervisors engage in. and that the primary source of this complementary learning is the individual supervisor. While his remarks support the notion that it is difficult. At the same time. it becomes clear that there is much more to learning science than just learning the particular science. to generalize about graduate supervision.902 Social Studies of Science 33/6 time. Thus. 2010 . the description of scientific training provided by Fleck and Kuhn might resemble more closely the way in which contemporary academic scientists view the training process than any description that has been forthcoming through more recent field research.

1988: 82) In the final stages. patient.sagepub. during which they develop certain practical skills that they will need in order to carry out their own research. and ‘creative work’ in physics. recognizing three distinct stages in the education process (undergraduate. 2010 . Walford appears to be suggesting that. . that only a few physicists will be invited into the community of particle physics. . their supervisors would not be inclined to perform scientific research on their own. their education takes on a more specialized quality. that all knowledge is dependent upon or derivative from physics. science is the product of individual great men. Struggling with this processual aspect of the scientific enterprise. whereby students learn to ‘respect the tacit knowledge of their elders by not following their explicit instructions’ (1988: 88). careers. laboratories. In her ethnographic study of the high-energy-physics community. spread over a period of about 15 years. specialization. His comments in this instance are motivated by widespread criticisms of spending on academic research in the UK.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. Thus. each identified with its own separate traditions (textbooks. and learning oral tradition). They learn that: . research groups. ‘the young physicists learn the significance of the lifetimes of detectors.Campbell: Preparing the Next Generation of Scientists 903 experimentation are sacrificed to the aim of training future scientists’. in their absence. students learn primarily from textbooks. Traweek not only provides a more finely grained analysis of the evolutionary nature of the training process throughout its various stages. and post-doctoral training). However. They are learning to become meticulous. that this product is independent of all social or political contexts. and persistent. They also are beginning to learn what is meant by ‘good taste’. and that the boundaries of particle physics are rigidly defined. while graduate students are not particularly good at doing science. (Traweek. and ideas’ (1988: 94). graduate. Consistent with Kuhn’s analysis. The students learn: how to differentiate between errors and significant deviations in their data. and come to understand the difference between mediocre and good experimental work. (Traweek. Traweek indicates that in the undergraduate phase. Sharon Traweek (1988) emphasizes the apprenticeship aspects of this particular scientific subculture. Much of the post-doctoral training consists of the negotiation of relationships and risk. the young physicist ‘must learn to rely on oral rather than written information’ (1988: 86). ‘much physics research is conducted only because there happens to be a postgraduate available who is interested enough to do it’. ‘good judgment’. 1988: 78) As graduate students. and the introduction of a government program to reduce the numbers of graduate students going into science. In other words. the students are engaged in processes of interpretation. through which some of the meanings that have been handed down to them are assessed and modified as new potential courses of action are evaluated and embarked upon. she also demonstrates the importance of Downloaded from http://sss. and that these emotional qualities are crucial for doing good physics. while at the same time observing that.

The framework for their study is provided by Pierre Bourdieu’s notion of ‘habitus’. politics or business. That is. 2010 .13 Delamont et al. we might well give applicants to graduate school aggressiveness tests as well as achievement tests’. David Hull’s (1988) analysis of the training of scientists draws attention to the ongoing and emergent aspect of the scientific enterprise. Based on the discussion so far. oral.904 Social Studies of Science 33/6 communication (written. Positivist rhetoric is also likely to surface during the induction of novices into the Hall of Science. the maintenance of order. in spite of the ubiquitous presence of uncertainty and change.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. a more comprehensive perspective on how individuals excel in science might be gained by examining how individuals achieve success in. it may appear that students undergo a rigorous and highly dogmatic course of indoctrination into science. however. ‘[t]he process of initiation is thus akin to a kind of conversion experience’. Such naive faith in the official propaganda might later wane and even turn cynical. Delamont et al. Similarly. In other words. reflective) among senior scientists and novices. Consistent with Traweek. Hull is supporting the view that our concept of scientific knowledge may need to be expanded to encompass various elements associated with the kinds of activities engaged in by members of all human groups. but it is crucial for new students’ primary socialization into the ranks of the community. is that enculturation processes act as powerful mechanisms for the stability of symbolic systems (2000: 180). just so they can arrive at a point where they are in a position to call the things that they have learned into question. the ‘habitual patterns of disposition and practice that generate and constitute cultural forms and values’ (Delamont et al. as both Fleck and Kuhn observed. 2000: 7).sagepub. Stephan Fuchs (1993) indicates that this may be just the kind of mechanism that the scientific community has determined is integral to its identity and longevity. Perhaps one of their most important conclusions. 1993: 15) Taking a somewhat different perspective on this situation. (2000: 181) remark that. (2000) explore the doctoral experience in the social and natural sciences from both the supervisors’ and the students’ points of view. as they attempt to accomplish their goals and objectives in the face of various obstacles. Textbooks and teaching materials are strongholds of positivist rhetoric because new members must be recruited as firm believers in the superiority of science. and identifies skills and attributes that may not be addressed through conventional training. Here. (Fuchs. He (1998: 365) suggests that: ‘If we are genuinely interested in educating students who are most likely to contribute to the growth of science. the authors find that some of the uncertainty and anxiety associated with being a graduate student results from a tension between explicit training and implicit enculturation (2000: 176). expressed as absorbing and participating in the Downloaded from http://sss. for example. given the way in which students progressively learn the classic texts and techniques of their discipline. that is.

however. and a very few will go on to become scientists themselves. such as: Recruiting students Teaching and training Supervising programs of study Selecting projects for students Influencing career decisions This list of processes is meant to be illustrative rather than comprehensive. The way in which any of these mechanisms comes into play. In some cases. 2010 . The present project also accepts this position. individuals may feel obliged to join a certain group in order to fulfill a particular commitment to family or friends. by extension. In some circumstances. Not all of these students will become science majors. and would provide an environment within which to carry out some set of activities relating to work.Campbell: Preparing the Next Generation of Scientists 905 creation of cumulative knowledge and learning disciplinary norms.sagepub. as the individual discovers that they do not share the perspective of the group. The data presented here specifically add to our understanding of how scientific training is carried out by those individuals (academic scientists) who are actively engaged in the process of managing students on a day-today basis. an even smaller number will enter graduate programs in the sciences. through which they can expose potential members to their worldview. the particular circumstances Downloaded from http://sss. One of the difficulties confronting academic scientists is how to determine which students have the potential to become good graduate students and. and while it provides a framework for the presentation of data.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. or perhaps a hobby. whereby they search out groups that they feel share their ideas. Recruiting Students Scientists working in the university environment are exposed to large numbers of undergraduate students primarily through their teaching activities. however. acting as a personal guide and gateway into the group. Similarly. Interested individuals may engage in seekership. potential new members to any group may take one or more of a number of entry paths. This aspect of doing science can be viewed as involving a number of activities. an existing member may sponsor an individual. existing members of a group may actively seek out potential new members through a variety of recruiting activities. how does the process of recruitment occur? As Prus (1996: 153) indicates. and seeks to illustrate some of the processes engaged in by those who seek to propagate such systems. Even when this determination can be made. may be the result of chance. This kind of closure may result in later conflict. potential new members of the scientific community. it is not meant to imply that scientists would necessarily articulate their activities this way. or that they would view these processes in any way as separate or distinct. In a related vein. constitutes a major locus of activity.

they become proficient – maybe not fantastic – in other things. to recognize which people will get along well with them and vice versa of course. She asked me about where she’s going and so on. so you’ve got to get students with different strengths. It’s mutual. and those will attract people as well. and it’s completely different research to what other people were doing in the faculty before. This year. (A) Part of this process involves determining the competence. there’s a very good (undergraduate) student graduating. 1973: 439–59). he comes in with completely new baggage. new everything from outside. I would like to have you in my group’. he has to understand optics. and then to some extent. in other labs and I think that it’s difficult to achieve. This phenomenon might be seen to constitute yet another expression of the ‘Matthew effect’. not only does the introduction of a new perspective provide some advantage in the recruitment process. At the same time. Now. So we got talking and I wrote her a letter saying. for example. Like I see some students. you do not – it’s rare that you get a student that is going to be able to do all of these things. she was supervising an exam for me. (B) The decision to open a group to a new member is not just a question of the individual’s perceived competence as a scientist. he has to also be mechanically inclined. In our case. Faculty members and students both play a role in the recruitment process. There’s a certain chemistry that works between certain people and doesn’t work between other people. but consideration is also given to how a newcomer will mesh with the existing members and relationships that presently make up the group. and she started telling me about her experience. (A) The hiring of new faculty members in science departments also provides an opportunity for the recruitment of students. At the beginning when somebody new comes in. ‘Here are some of my papers. I think. or goodness-offit. I was lucky to get good students. or if he doesn’t know optics. 2010 . She was going to go to another school and basically what I did was I wrote her a nice letter. Plus. whereby scientists who have been successful in acquiring resources (students) in the past are likely to have high levels of success in acquiring resources (students) in the future (Merton. attracts students. (A) So. he has to become proficient in optics – at least the fundamentals. It was coincidental. And that novelty aspect. then he has to have an electronics background.906 Social Studies of Science 33/6 within which the concerned parties find themselves may give rise to a combination of actions taking place. of potential members. and they use these strengths in their specific area. Downloaded from http://sss.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. but once a few students have become exposed to that perspective they will communicate it to others.sagepub.

or from members of other groups. during the training process. Delamont et al. more time should be devoted even to doing some social science training. 2010 . and public interest groups. Through formalized courses. both as professionals and as citizens. Interaction with representatives from funding agencies. appropriate to the discipline at hand. The four are: Differentiating activities Teaching specific things Preparing students for the discipline Preparing students for the next step While these activities overlap and can be seen as part of the overall supervision process. four aspects of teaching and training emerged that provide a convenient way to subdivide the presentation of material in this section in order to facilitate communication.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. so that new scientists will be better prepared to make informed decisions about the future of the scientific enterprise. What the data presented here suggest is that the more informal elements of goodness-of-fit and awareness of opportunity also play an important part in determining if and how supervisor and student will get together. scientists present their worldviews to new members. 2000: 166). Harry Collins (1992: 161) suggests that. who have widely varying backgrounds. interests. science students engage in activities that help them to acquire perspectives. achieve identities. However. equipment manufacturers.Campbell: Preparing the Next Generation of Scientists 907 As others have pointed out (Gumport. scientists do not operate in isolation from each other. Downloaded from http://sss. Consequently. is an important component of accomplishing scientific goals. in terms of appropriate grade levels and program and course completion. 1993: 264. is perhaps self-evident. Teaching and Training Another set of activities that is widely recognized as a major component of doing science in the university environment is teaching and training. In speaking with scientists. and skill levels.sagepub. skills and knowledge. this is likely to consist of graduate students supervised by others. scientists reach out to a somewhat larger audience (beyond their own students) through classroom teaching and training students in the laboratory. and the need for students to be adequately prepared. and provide students with opportunities for developing attitudes. and initiate their careers. By taking classes and participating in laboratory exercises. to mention only a few possibilities. Differentiating Activities One of the difficulties faced by academic scientists is determining where the activities of teaching and training students fit into the broader range of activities that they engage in. the ability to attract graduate students is strongly linked to the availability of sufficient levels of funding.

the student’s plans may be more directly aligned with the research program being carried out by the supervisor. are what I regard as teaching service. the norm requires the scientist to recognize his prime obligation to train up new generations of scientists. They already have something in mind that they want to work on while I supervise them. not only is the distinction between teaching and research problematic at times. or the other. For others. but he must not allow teaching to preempt his energies at the expense of advancing knowledge. Well. the norm reads just as persuasively in reverse. as one would anticipate some differences between teaching undergraduates and graduate students. namely: teaching. in the university it’s difficult. nothing to administer. with the last of these being characterized as somewhat less important by the scientists. Merton observes that there is: an ambivalence toward the preferred relations between the teaching and research roles. in-between sort of situation. There’s a certain amount of tension – tension sounds very stressful – but I guess it’s the word I want to use anyway – between research and teaching. He states that the research role is central. (A) There would seem to be at least a practical distinction between three areas of activity. As with many aspects of the scientific enterprise. 1973: 521. teaching. and administration. The graduate activity – that is something that is to some extent an uneasy. administration. Merton (1973: 520) identifies four principal roles that scientists engage in. it’s both. To me it’s sort of a service – it’s not directly in my chosen areas of research. Many of the students I accept.sagepub. (Merton. In some discussions you hear graduate activity categorized as teaching. emphasis in original) Downloaded from http://sss. or both. the best way to understand what is taking place is to examine a particular activity in some specific context or situation. While the primary focus in this study is graduate teaching. For some. (D) In other instances. the way in which scientists understand teaching and training will vary with the circumstances. and in other discussions you hear it categorized as research. namely: research. and nothing for gatekeepers to regulate. for without the production of new knowledge there would be nothing to teach. The teaching role is itself blurred. (C) So. It’s not a project that I’m working on myself. research. and gatekeeping. it would be equally beneficial to explore activities related to the design and delivery of undergraduate courses. It’s part of the job. I’m performing a teaching service – supervising their programs. because of the more direct linkage graduate students have with research programs and funding. between teaching and research.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. In other words. and the first two existing in some kind of ambiguous and potentially conflictual relationship. 2010 .908 Social Studies of Science 33/6 Well. but the scientists themselves do not seem clear on whether ‘managing students’ is one. and administration is sort of assumed to be there. They will not contribute to my publications in those projects that I’m working on. however. Regardless of the particulars of any case.

Ronald Giere points out that. might increase. but most likely they won’t find the same problem when they go out into industry. It is still problem solving – scientific problem solving. system is a good way of teaching research but a very bad way of doing research’. they could be doing DNA fingerprinting. and it’s scientific problemsolving. When they move to get a different job. A typical progression would be to proceed first to treat motion in one dimension. You are training them to think. Well. (Giere. there is a logical progression laid out in the textbooks that reflects a widely accepted notion of what students need to learn and how they should learn it. and it may be very different from what the students expect. and maybe or maybe not.Campbell: Preparing the Next Generation of Scientists 909 So. not to mention levels of satisfaction on the part of both faculty and students. Within that category one might progress from uniform forces as a function of position only. scientific productivity. and how to solve problems. It could be organic synthesis – something that is hard to synthesize – how to go from A to B. What would be interesting to explore in more detail is how the scientists themselves see the distinction between teaching and research. especially with respect to preparing the next generation of scientists. 1988: 66) Ian Hacking (1992: 39) points out a similar progression with respect to learning optics. to forces that are a function of both position and velocity. with respect to classical mechanics for example. What is the composition? How would I go about analyzing it? Maybe in my laboratory they do rocks. velocity. What do I have here? This is a rock. however. so you give them the skills to think the problem through to total conclusion. it is clear that teaching activities are part of the broader service to the scientific community. and what things they take into account in determining how to allot their time between these two. In real life there are no textbooks that will provide solutions to all the problems. I would suggest that some of the apparent tension that exists between these activities might emerge out of the way that tenure and review processes and workload allocation take place at universities. and time. to problem-solve.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20.D. In somebody else’s they could be doing blood samples. there is a great deal more that will be transmitted to the novice scientists. Teaching Specific Things The actual content of courses and instruction will reflect the scientists’ perspectives on what they have determined is important for the students to learn. 2010 . Walford (1983: 252) observed that: ‘The Ph. while Merton appears to suggest that the scientists’ perceptions of the proper balance between teaching and research is based on some criteria that transcend specific situations. This is what I think I’m trying to instill in the Downloaded from http://sss.sagepub. But you are not going to be providing them with canned solutions. Beyond these basics. if nothing else. and that if less of a distinction was drawn between research and teaching. you train people first of all how to think. It could be chemical analysis. and finally to forces that are a function of position. or from some public conception of scientific training.

in most likelihood you will know how to devise a solution 10 years down the line. process takes precedence over products. what would happen 10 or 15 years down the line? This is part of the reason why I’m emphasizing in my courses thinking about how to solve the problem rather than the actual solution. as with the approach advocated in this project. and the method of choice today. This is part of the zero-based approach that we’re taking. and whatever it is that we try. Preparing Students for the Discipline As students acquire the perspectives of the group with which they are involved. as with the scientific work they are carrying out. There has to be a reason for trying it. He’s learned the rules of publication. So. He essentially has learned the rules of science. there are some pragmatic skills that all students learn in order to take their place in the broader community of scientists. the skills and knowledge imparted to the students have to do with preparing them for the emergent and ongoing character of scientific work. for example. they also undergo a transition from being a student to achieving an identity as a scientist. . (E) The emphasis on passing on a more generic approach to understanding and doing science does not mean that specifics do not have to be learned. well.910 Social Studies of Science 33/6 students – a good sense of scientific thinking. that I’m writing a couple of papers with – I wrote a paper with him last year. but that it falls short of preparing students to be active contributors to the scientific enterprise. It is not only what are you going to do. And we don’t try things for the sake of trying things.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. It might be the case that learning the type of textbook science identified particularly by Fleck and Kuhn is an important element in learning the scientific ethos or habitus. may not necessarily be the method of choice tomorrow. Further research might explore in greater detail the relationship between the learning of specific (technical. What’s current today.sagepub. Downloaded from http://sss. 2010 . Through interaction with their supervisor and others around them. one out of four – 25 % – hmm. while each particular subculture within the scientific enterprise may have some peculiar theories or methods. which are essential for new members to learn. because the actual solution changes. they learn their role in the scientific community and. he’s the only one that I would say has become scientifically mature. But. is on ‘how to do science’ and. If I start teaching now something that’s already obsolete. I have my fourth grad student. . but also how you are going to do it – how you are going to get from point A to point B. (A) The focus in scientific training. if you know how to devise a solution based on the choice today. Of the first four grad students I’ve had. and I’m doing another one right now. then. procedural) skills and the acquisition of more broadly based problem-solving skills. At the same time. it has to be based on the scientific basics. One of the great joys of my job is to see . In other words. this shift in identity can be viewed as an intersubjective accomplishment.

It sounds like a lot of work. who then improve their essays. And this person. well. Not only are we interested in knowing more about what these expectations might be. it works very nicely. ‘Look. And I have to take this person aside and say. They are very intimidated. that I essentially run as an editor of a journal. and I send them out to reviewers. I evaluate the critique. In other cases. still don’t know how science works. ranging from the more personal approach just mentioned to more formal arrangements aimed at all students. and may be of a more voluntary nature. this is not acceptable’. (E) Here. and better you learn this now on your term paper than on your thesis. . ‘publish or perish’. .Campbell: Preparing the Next Generation of Scientists 911 He’s learned how to accept scientific criticism. his development into a scientist. the opportunity to learn is less formal. This is the way that we deal with these kinds of problems.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. (E) Here. All this process takes place over a month and a half or so. we would like to examine how scientists and students take these expectations into account. including this person. most students. 2010 . I don’t evaluate the essay at this point. this activity is integrated into the work that students do for a particular course. the critique and the annotated essays or critiqued essays go back to the original writers. The critique comes back to me and I look at the critique. I have a grad student right now. and learning to interpret what goes on in the scientific enterprise in a way that might reflect the expectations of a number of different groups. the students take on a variety of roles that they will be required to fill over their careers as members of the scientific community. and what I would consider to be marginal to blatant plagiarism. Downloaded from http://sss. when they came in. we see that much of becoming a scientist has to do with learning to interact with other scientists. who then respond. they get really worried. because on your thesis. they write essays on topics that they choose. So. it is important to observe that not every student will necessarily learn this aspect of being a scientist. and get my approval. (A) There are a number ways in which academic scientists try to prepare students to take their place as scientists. This exercise is something that takes the students from . scientific content – this and that. as far as I’m concerned. And it seems that when students initially hear about this. who still hasn’t quite come to understand the difference between paraphrasing. They have to write a critique of the paper in terms of presentation. There’s a major essay writing component in this course. and they send them back to me at the end of the semester.sagepub. and I eventually read all the essays and I grade them. In some cases. I’m going to crucify you on something like this. which are the other students – you never get to review your own work obviously – and the reviewers get to have a list of things they look for. to respond to it in an effective and confident way. Then. Related to this. there’s immaturity because of unfamiliarity with the system. and the idea is that they eventually submit them to me. I have a whole booklet that I wrote on how it works – it’s very mechanical. and just as important. We sort of have this mock exercise – it’s called. being the editor of a journal.

similar to the one reported by one of my interview subjects. They just do routine things. yes. Some people are excellent at this type of learning – new techniques. When you go for a post-doc. or go elsewhere to practice science (for example. or government job. Typically in the fall. 2010 . and the structure of their programs will vary accordingly. business. he or she also attempts to provide the students with the best possible preparation for success. and from whom they have the opportunity to see how different scientists have developed their careers. (G) Similarly. others will choose to stay in the academic setting. While some may select to discontinue their involvement by moving into other lines of work (for example. are all part of the process of learning the discipline. or an industrial job. We do have a lot of equipment – that’s the nature of the science we’re doing. I have outsiders because travel conditions are better then. and students have to be . . We have six to eight meetings each fall and winter. and also doing the maintenance and troubleshooting – where other students don’t have much of a feel for it. (F) Through this type of activity. and that’s very important. The graduate supervisor typically not only indicates what the possible paths may be.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. . and summer students reporting on their thesis research. and the more sophisticated these things are the better. he and another student will go together to give a talk. so he was calling back to say that. people from off campus. from nearby universities within an hour or two’s drive. and what is often referred to as a ‘thick skin’. and clearly supervisors have an important role to play in this regard. And it started with a student in biology that I had contacted about giving a talk. Preparing Students for the Next Step As students complete their graduate programs. objectivity. (A) At the same time. students are exposed to a broader range of members from the scientific community. From their research on a graduate student writing project. they often have a number of options open to them. . At the heart of this disciplinary training is the notion of exposing your work to others and having to comment on the efforts of others. medicine) at this point. Then in winter. Rosemary Caffarella and Bruce Barnett (2000) report that while students found the direct interaction with others and the iterative process of revision to be extremely valuable. Thus. and it has been operating now 26 years. we tend to have our local people here. scientists respond to individual differences among students. you list the equipment that you’re familiar with. private laboratories).912 Social Studies of Science 33/6 I organized a fraternity discussion room. it is reasonable for us to observe that the development of decorum. the interaction that takes place between the supervisor and any individual student will reflect the perception that the supervisor has of that Downloaded from http://sss. they also found the process emotionally draining and often frustrating. from whom they may be introduced to alternative approaches.sagepub. industry. The more you know obviously the better.

(H) Tony Becher (1993: 130–33) points out that forms of interaction between supervisors and students. 2000: 64). as others have pointed out (Walford. and that they have learned how to solve problems. Some people would do that. and I say. and address different sorts of problems. can be limited by the number of students being supervised. they waste a lot of time. Looking at the broader area of managing students. irrespective of where the work is carried. Supervising Programs of Study As pointed out by Reskin. Inevitably. they have learned how to exploit resources with a sophistication and an efficiency that most other students don’t have. Notwithstanding these constraints. this is exactly how you operate this dial. As with many other aspects of the scientific enterprise. and also to those students who show promise. but they are not going to learn anything if I come along. 2010 . (A) So. Not only are there specific elements that might be characterized as distinctly pedagogical. there is a great deal of variance in the form that these relationships may take and. and to the preservation of the field. At the same time. and therefore the time available to an individual student. part of the preparation for a scientific career is to struggle with various challenges and encounter setbacks.sagepub. I like to think that my students can leave here and go into other labs.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. I don’t have the patience for that. Delamont et al. or into industry. and thus appear to be worth the investment. In addition. then they will be in a better position to gain from these experiences. the activities more generally contribute to the intersubjective accomplishment of scientific work. ‘Let me take your hand. Downloaded from http://sss. and here. or thesis director. who will oversee their particular program. they have to struggle a little bit – it’s the only way they’re going to appreciate – it’s how they are going to retain what they learn. if the students learn to deal with these contingencies and accept them as a normal part of everyday life. the data presented here indicate that supervisors recognize these activities as an important aspect of teaching and training. the experience in the natural sciences can be quite different from what is found in other disciplines. 1981: 149. that the techniques become vehicles for learning how to solve problems. You know. and this is how you do this’. I don’t think the students appreciate this until much later on. scientists may never be involved in this aspect of science at all. part of the mechanism through which scientists acquire their credentials is their attachment to a graduate supervisor. which do not directly contribute to the completion of a degree. and on the computing side.Campbell: Preparing the Next Generation of Scientists 913 student. along with an evaluation of how best to proceed with that student. particularly in some smaller undergraduate institutions. teaching and training activities appear to be an integral part of carrying out science in an academic setting.

Having graduate students has advantages politically. In fact they wrote up a thesis based on their summer work. this excerpt indicates that supervision may extend beyond the university to include other interested groups. it’s difficult to generalize. several of my students were working for government departments in the summers. deciding how to pursue it. So. and I didn’t need to teach them how to go about their work. Walford (1981) documents various cases of what his informants refer to as ‘bad supervision’. talking about the results as they become available. there are reciprocal benefits that accrue from supervising graduate students. In former years. many of which are discussed in the sections that follow. In the arts.914 Social Studies of Science 33/6 There’s a difference between the way arts people and the way science people supervise graduate students. and may even share responsibility for a student with other scientists. or had a history of being supervised in the field. and from time to time even though those students came in not to work on my projects. The thing that we are interested in is the array of activities that constitutes the relationship between the supervisor and the student. The thesis work involves a lot more participation – involvement on my part – getting them going on the research.sagepub. and my participation in those cases was much less. They knew. there are things that come out of it that tie into things I’m doing. which involves much less than a thesis does. There are a lot of subtleties in the university life. greater onus may be placed directly on the student. or lack of direct access to supervisors. however. how they put it together in a thesis. I simply supervised the research aspect of it: how they got their results. (C) Not only is the student learning to become a member of some particular group of scientists and the community of scientists as a whole.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. having graduate students helps you to get money for graduate students. (C) Apart from identifying a number of processes and activities. in some cases. students may only see their supervisor once every couple of months. the Downloaded from http://sss. it is important for present purposes to note that at any given time scientists may be interacting with several students at various stages in their programs. selecting the problem. In addition. and a couple of students are doing course work masters. so that they don’t do a thesis. Some of them spend quite a bit of their time doing course work. 2010 . most of their program is spent doing courses. We see them every day. they’re all different situations and their backgrounds vary. and assessing the results. They do a project. They had field supervisors. (G) While we are not interested specifically in quantifying the activities around managing students. They’re in and out of the office all of the time. So it’s quite a spectrum. and their theses were based on work for those agencies. the level of involvement that supervisors have with particular students can vary greatly and. that reflects such factors as lack of clear direction from supervisors. because supervision has been passed on to a post-doctoral researcher or senior technician. which is a more routine sort of operation. as their work develops. In many cases. and they’re always right there in the laboratory. Well. or they would be working on their own at that stage.

and it makes very little sense for the student to do that. . you know. and that I regard as my responsibility if you like. that’s a good thing. Resources have been invested in establishing a particular working environment. I have spent fifteen years . And. (H) Regardless of whether all scientists would agree with this statement. you know. I think I’m somewhat unusual in having an aspect of the work which I do myself in the laboratory. However. 2010 . and they instruct the students in how to solve individual problems. rather than engaging in mere exercises. However the equipment they build then is used with this instrument that I’ve been developing. that’s not the only instrument in my laboratory. or how to carry on research. and accomplishing their broader research goals. I’ve been doing this for a very long time. And. Selecting Projects for Students The projects that students carry out as part of their graduate programs are often an extension of their supervisors’ work. For clarity of presentation.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. but in both instances the students are engaged in carrying out actual research work. I don’t know anybody who has a specific project that occurs by himself. . The students also have to build equipment in order to carry out their research.Campbell: Preparing the Next Generation of Scientists 915 supervising scientists often benefit from this activity through linkages to such aspects as pursuing funding. The students’ projects then use that instrument to make measurements on various things. after you’ve been out of the laboratory for a while. So. They supervise in the laboratory. in chemistry. of course. Now. it’s the electronics thing and computer architecture.14 All the research in my laboratory is carried out by students. that in fact has taken many. then both things are used together to make the measurement and get the results. but they don’t put their hands on the machines themselves. many years to develop and refine.sagepub. of course. That’s pretty common in fact. The work that I do is on the development of this particular instrument. and the building of specialized computers. it points out that the supervising scientists often take the role of overseeing the workings in the laboratory and integrating new students into the ongoing activities of the laboratory. and student projects typically are fitted into the broader range of plans and objectives that the scientist may be carrying out. In fact. As I say. the scientist has more direct (hands on) involvement in the research being carried out. this does mean that the scientists will not perform some range of activities in the research setting. with new students that instruction may be very detailed. (G) In this case. They are: Downloaded from http://sss. The students there hate to see you come in and turn the knobs. In most cases the research directors in chemistry do absolutely nothing. That’s why I spend some of my time in the laboratory. the activities around selecting projects for students have been divided into these three sub-processes that reflect the way in which the scientists described them to me. they keep very close contact with what’s going on.

(H) In this case. the one to be developed of course is going to be difficult and risky. I always give the student two projects. When I have an incoming student I always put – let’s say it’s a masters student with no research experience whatever – I will always put that student on a project which is working. I will change the system that’s being measured somewhat. and I also know what’s feasible with the tools we have. fine. the student still has results from the other one and can write a thesis on these. and let the student go ahead and measure those new results – which are new results of course – but they’re pretty similar to the results of the other systems.sagepub. And so. where results are being obtained. . many research activities in the laboratory are ongoing. and then one which he has to develop.916 Social Studies of Science 33/6 Fitting students in Dealing with problems Taking a risk Fitting Students In As suggested by the two excerpts given earlier. I do this because I have an ongoing laboratory with some projects. Hopefully. (F) The responsibility for the selection of research projects is assumed by the supervisor. with many students entering and leaving as work goes on. their work typically is channeled so that it fits into the broader scheme of activities being carried out. I do. by going to meetings and reviewing the literature. which is producing results. So. And. the individual students can accomplish what they need for this step in their training. This kind of integrated activity depends on the cooperation of many people Downloaded from http://sss. the overall research activities of the supervisor can continue. 2010 . When I have an incoming student . and the chances of success are in many cases not high. so the next incoming student can use that apparatus and just use it to measure results. and I also know what my expertise – what narrow window – my expertise gives me a handle on attacking. as the student is not expected to be aware of the various criteria central to making the decision. At the same time. basically one that’s working like that. . So I’ll choose for the student. He or she doesn’t have any feel for the scope of the field. and has done some very simple measurements with that apparatus to show that it works. the supervisor may provide the student with alternate research paths in order to compensate for potential setbacks or difficulties that may arise. and I think that’s pretty common with most people. or what is relevant. And therefore. I then have another apparatus working in my lab and another experiment working in the lab. then the student has built – effectively built – another apparatus to do some different measurement. And. If the new difficult project doesn’t work out. that’s really the bootstrap kind of process that I use. While that’s happening. and some of them are successful and some of them are less successful. If that new project does work out. The way I try to organize projects for the students is pretty typical of most people. and the way is paved for new students to enter the laboratory.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. and into the broader developments within that particular area of science. and some of those projects are difficult and some of them are easy. As new students come along.

you know. reconfigured. (G) Dealing with Problems Some of the changes that take place in the research process arise in response to various obstacles that the students may encounter in the course of doing their research. or thrown away. and this may include a couple of grad student generations. yes. but then you explore more until you get an answer. and one year will be spent making measurements and getting results. he came to recognize the significance of certain actions and materials.sagepub. ‘Just because you thought about it. would you do it the way this person is proposing to do it. I ask my students to turn their ideas upside down in their heads and to challenge their own thought processes. that instrument may be only used for only another generation or so of students before it’s either completely dismantled. You thought about this and that and. I may not have an answer for them. Once a relatively large and complicated instrument is built. (A) It is not the experiment that tells the scientist how to proceed. And in one sense you want to use it for a while. an integral part of carrying out the specific project is to develop this kind of skill. You just simply thought about it. as students solidify their knowledge. That’s the typical project for a chemical physics graduate student. or abandoned. (A) I think that if a student started thinking about experiments they are running. 2010 . I don’t understand why this happens’. If there are no problems at all then you plan the experiments. Students also make quite an investment as part of this overall scheme. The person is in the lab for. for example. scientists may decide to move on in response to changes taking place in the scientific enterprise.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. (G) Despite the often considerable investment in human and material resources. or how would you do it if you did it from scratch’. Harry Collins (1992: 70) indicates that as one of his informants learned to build lasers. in order to maximize the use of resources and maintain productivity. where once he had seen nothing. You don’t want to just throw it away. For the student. and about half a million dollars is not untypical for the amount of resources and time that goes into building one of these complete experimental set-ups. or in their particular fields. ‘Look. and say. but the fact is that. then they could graduate very rapidly. with all sorts of interesting results. but the scientist’s experience with these kinds of systems and ways of doing science that lead to various possibilities.Campbell: Preparing the Next Generation of Scientists 917 working together. based on what you know. four years or something. and they thought about them properly. Solutions may emerge through interaction with supervisors and through reflective processes of interpretation. but most of the time the experiment tells you what you should do next. three years will be spent building an instrument. (E) Downloaded from http://sss. that doesn’t make it right. and they work out exactly the way that they should. you know. They can always come back to me.

Students will always have the impression that if they just do this one last thing. even at the level of scientific immaturity that most grad students come in at. ‘Hey. circumstances are such that it is more advantageous to the overall goals to stop one line of research and embark upon a different course of action. and for some people. It would be of great benefit to our understanding of socialization into science to find out what scientists believe constitutes the notion of proper thinking. I’ll try it’. If Downloaded from http://sss. Sometimes. the level of freedom and uncertainty that goes with this kind of project can appeal to certain individuals and. that could have a lot of impact. What I know is that nobody knows anything about this. certainly there’s also that tendency on the part of the research director as well. and he dropped the other project. and you can go whichever direction that strikes your fancy. and people will sit up and take notice. and I asked a graduate student that was working on something else – he had one of those long-term projects. I won’t be able to afford to quit because I’ve got so much in it now that I have to keep pushing. then it’s certainly going to work. if they succeed. And. I essentially gave him the same information I’m giving you now. he said. you know. So it’s very important to just keep focused on the big picture. and they just keep going on and on until they waste their entire graduate course. Once you look at the material. and say. these more innovative projects can come along by chance. there’s an infinite number of directions you can go with it. programmed sort of way. that he potentially could be recognized for.918 Social Studies of Science 33/6 This last quotation presents an interesting avenue for further research. where the results are fairly predictable?’ Here’s a chance to actually make what you want – here’s totally fertile ground. And it turned out that it works very well. you could do that.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. ‘Would you mind doing this as a side project?’ And. initially. why do I want to produce another thesis that looks at something in a very systematic. (E) Taking a Risk There are occasions when the research project that a student undertakes may involve higher levels of risk than more conservative projects. for sure and you can modify the experiment. Sometimes. (A) In some cases. some people say. It was an idea that I had for a while. Embarking on such projects may impact the allocation of resources within the laboratory. Here’s a chance to be innovative. and may alter the relationship between the supervisor and the student. ‘No. ‘How much have I invested in this at this point?’ Because if I invest much more then it’s going to own me instead of the other way around.sagepub. Here’s an opportunity to do a thesis that is totally out of the ordinary. and so to my mind it’s better to quit early than late. 2010 . and what the specific consequences of employing such a process would have for the immediate student and the broader scientific community. If the person wanted to do it in terms of strictly sedimentology. there is also – I say students – well. and then I won’t be able to quit. sure. in such a way as to affect other courses of action. the rewards can be great.

however. or a few hundred thousand dollars. because that’s when they’re going to work harder. 1992). in one of the cases mentioned here. our primary interest is in outlining how scientists and students attach meaning to the objects that they work with. As a result. I want to be flexible. you could do that. So I guess it was so open-ended. As problems arise they will be dealt with intersubjectively within the context of understandings that comprise the life-world within which the concerned parties are operating. Galison & Hevly. both came to view the project as significant and worthy of greater attention. the approach taken in the present study allows us to gain greater insight into what might otherwise be treated as a structural constraint. a certain project was viewed initially by both the scientist and the student as an extra piece of work. Downloaded from http://sss. the social processes are similar. for example. 2010 . Regardless of whether the student is going to study the behavior of wasps around their nests. and so on. as the process and the outcome are likely to impact both parties. Second. This kind of conclusion would appear to be consistent with. this project came to replace what had originally been the principal course of action. as opposed to some imposed set of rules. or the scattering of subatomic particles resulting from the collision of a high-energy beam with an elaborate detector.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. and I believe strongly that – of course I set up a general scheme – but I like the students to have as much input as possible into the whole thing. a sort of curiosity. and the potential for impact was fairly high. In other words. what Sharon Traweek describes as taking place in high-energyphysics facilities. That’s how it came about. First of all.sagepub. you could do that. Through a process of negotiation the specific project to be undertaken by the student will be integrated into the overall goals. further research might focus specifically on the negotiation processes that take place between scientists and their students. (E) Even in these cases. objectives and ways of doing science that the supervising scientist is already engaged in. the decision to proceed with such a project is arrived at through interaction between the student and the supervisor. As the project progressed.Campbell: Preparing the Next Generation of Scientists 919 you wanted to do it in terms of geochemistry. If you wanted to bring a stronger biological component into interpreting the sedimentology. It appealed to this particular student. and that’s when they’re going to have more academic success. through ongoing processes of interaction and interpretation. not all of the instances point to a big science environment (see Price. For example. While it is only possible to mention these activities in the present project. However. (D) The evidence presented here may seem to indicate that the whole area of selecting projects for students is tied into considerations of the material resources (especially laboratory equipment) available in a particular setting. the kinds of processes described here are obtained whether the specific project costs a few thousand dollars. 1986. traditions.

2010 . I never really recommend that a student do too many degrees in one place. I guess it maybe just reflects the ebb and flow of science in general. supervisors have to take into account developments that are taking place not only within a particular subdiscipline (parasitology). In some cases. By taking the other into account in this more sustained manner. and exploit whatever tools are around.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. changes in the way that scientists have organized themselves may make it difficult for them pursue a certain course of action. and there are fewer and fewer places where they can actually go and get trained in that.920 Social Studies of Science 33/6 Influencing Career Decisions In a previous section. the student is gaining a greater appreciation of the intersubjective nature of the scientific enterprise. and PhD in one place. Many students still want to pursue parasitology. and it’s only after having done it that I realize the experience that you get. Even if students decide to continue along a particular path. You’ve got too many people working in the molecular aspects. based on their ability to solve problems. A parallel process that takes place in this regard is the counseling and coaching of students with respect to specific courses of action to follow as their careers unfold. particularly at the post-doc level. because the importance of parasites is not going to disappear along with the disappearance of the discipline. but also in Downloaded from http://sss. examples were provided to show how scientists prepare their students for their future involvement in the scientific enterprise through teaching and training activities. (D) In both of these cases. the goal is to make the student better prepared for a career in science enterprise. So. I think there is a widespread recognition in biology right now that we have to do something in terms of whole animal biology. It’s something that is going to have to be addressed.sagepub. It’s so hard to explain to somebody who does their bachelors. (E) This statement would seem to indicate that students who can adapt to varying situations and contexts would fare better than those who cannot. students are advised to embark upon paths that will place them in the situation of encountering different perspectives from the ones that they have just devoted much time and effort to acquiring. I encourage them to go into areas that are quite different from their thesis. because they have already learned how to do that. When I have students that leave here to go to post-docs. They should go and learn something else and get a different perspective. similar kinds of advice may be given. Even for those students that have yet to complete their doctorate. masters. and an important part of that preparation would appear to be the ability to deal with multiple worldviews. the student is sold. but it’s going to be a long time before the jobs start opening up that will enable more balance. I went to a different place for every degree. The recognition is there. (I) Here.

At the same time. the supervisor recognizes that the specific expectations that members of the academic community may place on potential new members can be different from what various industrial or government groups may expect. I actively discourage some people.Campbell: Preparing the Next Generation of Scientists 921 the broader community of biologists. for example. that you can’t escape it. 2010 . In some cases. because you can’t guarantee them a job these days. (C) At the same time. Part of what is passed on to students. I mean. or other things that weren’t directly involved with these cyclic industries. regardless of which route they select. You find those people going out looking for jobs anywhere they can find jobs. it’s not really encouraging. so it affects the employment in teaching. mining companies. but they’ve got experience in environmental things. And even the people who are doing PhDs and whatever. this may involve looking beyond the confines of the academic community. therefore. who I thought. We’re in a slump now. which is where a large proportion of PhDs will go. and if a company is looking for somebody who can – who has demonstrated good work habits. But it’s difficult to separate yourself from it because when those industries slump they affect everything in the employment field. and encourage them to look at things perhaps a little bit more applicable in terms of jobs at the masters level. There are more opportunities for somebody with a masters. And this is such a large component of employment. You find people leaving employment with oil companies. I have them taking environmental courses and geochemistry courses and things that are marketable. it is possible to organize students’ programs so as to maximize their chances for success. The decision to remain within the academic setting may actually jeopardize the chances for entering other settings. Employment in geology is down. So. I encourage grad students to keep their options open. you know. They may have a very academic thesis topic. is an appreciation of the various conditions and circumstances that they will be confronted with. well they would quit after their masters and rather than go on to achieve an academic position. Somebody has to have some dedication – interest in research to continue on to a doctorate. Some of them will go into teaching. as future courses of action are determined.sagepub. finished the thesis on time. I often feel that somebody with a PhD is overqualified. and you know how few openings there are in universities. (C) Downloaded from http://sss. (E) In this case. When this department started in the ‘60s. looking for jobs elsewhere.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. other than mineral-based careers – oil and mines. we were consciously trying to encourage students to enter into other kinds of careers. or they’ve also got some technical knowledge – formally from courses – that will give them at least as much of a fighting chance as possible. We were hoping that we could focus our training on people who would go into teaching. Geology is very subject to employment cycles. As long as I can attract grad students. activities taking place in one area cannot be separated from what goes on in related areas of human endeavor. and can afford to pay them to do these things. I have discouraged these people from looking at me as a potential supervisor.

Coupled with this is the realization that people are members of several groups simultaneously. At the same time. He had an $11.000 for somebody with a masters degree. and that’s a prestigious award in academic circles to get such a scholarship. Fuchs. there are times when appropriately trained scientists leave industry to go back into an academic setting. share common mechanisms.000. decisions are made on practical grounds that may reflect other elements of a person’s life. and that the demands placed on individuals by members of one group may not be consistent with the demands placed on them by others. and recognizing the dynamics of the relationships that the scientific community engages in with other social groups (government.000 scholarship. In other words. the kinds of activities and processes that students engage in. Members flow back and forth among various communities with whom they share certain elements of their worldview.922 Social Studies of Science 33/6 Not only do students leave the academic setting to enter industry. the fact that many of the social processes that people engage in do. and which constitute a very important aspect of the intersubjective accomplishment of science. also prepare them to take their place as practitioners in a number of other social environments. and Hull have suggested that graduate students in the natural sciences might benefit from some training in the social sciences and that the same kinds of skills that we might identify more particularly with success in the world of business might be of considerable benefit to success in the scientific enterprise. and it paid him $11. In some case. This position recognizes. 2010 . Concluding Observations The data presented here provide insight into the variety and complexity of social processes that come into play as new members of the scientific community are integrated into the group. As was pointed out earlier. Years ago I had a PhD student here who obtained an NSERC [National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada] scholarship. in fact. these activities cannot be separated out and treated as somehow nonscientific or peripheral to the ‘real’ activity of doing science. Guess what he decided to do? (C) The ways in which scientists influence the career paths of their students reflect a tension between providing future members for the scientific community. but it also draws attention to a notion of the transferability of skills that emerges from a more generic perspective on these activities. industry). in doing science. A substantial part of what many academic scientists do on a daily basis is to prepare the next generation of scientists. Collins. but he was looking for work. he interviewed for a job in the government where he had been doing his thesis research. He had no other duties but just to do his research. such as family or lifestyle considerations.sagepub. not only. And.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20.000 for a starting assistant professor. They were offering $38. at the same time the university was offering $28. and the activities engaged in by these new members go a long way towards accomplishing the goals and Downloaded from http://sss.

and the present project is equally susceptible to this same criticism. difficulties notwithstanding. These include an exploration of the activities related to the design and delivery of Downloaded from http://sss. As Lorne Dawson (1995: 52) states in his analysis of alternate strategies for dealing with accounts. such accounts at least provide a means for some initial and cautious forays into interesting areas of research. Throughout the presentation of data. is highly questionable. However. although fallible’ record for exploring the actions and beliefs of informants. by presenting scientists’ descriptions of the activities they engage in as part of a process that I have called ‘managing students’. What I have tried to do here is to explore one aspect of this relationship. Thus. invest a great deal of time and other resources in maintaining the community.sagepub. and are fundamental to everyday practical action’. as reliable and verifiable data. Delamont et al. From the material introduced earlier in this essay. (2000: 134–51) are careful to point out that their work is subject to the criticism that the status of scientists’ accounts.Campbell: Preparing the Next Generation of Scientists 923 objectives of the established members of the scientific community. by extension. rather than constituting a threat to the integrity of the scientific enterprise. Related to the evidence presented here. incremental change is taking place constantly and has a significant effect on how new members become integrated into the existing group and. and consistent with a symbolic interactionist perspective on science. What the evidence presented from the interviews seems to show is that underneath what might appear a calm and stable surface. constitute the stability of the scientific enterprise. I claim nothing more. they provide ‘a privileged. it is clear that issues are resolved through negotiation. I have suggested a number of areas of interest that could form the basis for further research. and thus it is important for us to bring it to the attention of those interested in the social study of science. This kind of reciprocal relationship is an integral component of how scientific practice is carried out in an academic setting. Consistent with the findings of Roth and Bowen.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. new scientists. as they (2000: 135–36) indicate: ‘Narratives and other kinds of reports are a pervasive feature of social life. in fact. A significant amount of research has been carried out over the last 25 years to demonstrate the contingent and contextual nature of scientific knowledge and the ways in which scientific knowledge is constructed. Through a long period of apprenticeship and the establishment of complex relationships with their sponsors. This latter point is critical to understanding my objective. 2010 . However. and of Delamont and Atkinson. constitute the very integrity of science. it may seem that students become indoctrinated with an exceptionalist view of the scientific enterprise that emphasizes the (mistaken?) impression that science is a highly stable field of human endeavor. and members of the broader scientific community. and much energy is expended in maintaining the processes of interaction and interpretation that. given the ubiquity of accounts and given that we often have little else to work with. in fact. I would suggest that the processes of interaction and interpretation. into their discipline as a whole.

private and public funding G – male. chemical physics. we must be open to collecting and analyzing alternate insights. Downloaded from http://sss. see Prus (1989). it would be interesting to interview graduate students to explore the ways in which they would describe the processes that they engage in during their training.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. Through these processes. private and public funding I – female. For my part. Notes 1. late career. 1969). that can be obtained through a variety of research approaches and perspectives. 3. all were white and six were female. sedimentary geology.sagepub. Transcript data from nine of these research subjects appear here. physical chemistry. For research applications of the scheme. Prus & Irini (1988). albeit an important one. late career. As an important complement to the present project. late career. and ‘late career’ means about 20 years post tenure. This might sound like a fundamental anthropological insight. and certainly Bourdieu (1988) has provided an excellent analysis of how this takes places in academic settings. mid-career. 5. and the relationship between learning the specifics of a discipline or particular subject area and the acquisition of more general problem-solving and research skills. Symbolic interactionism emphasizes the intersubjective nature of social reality that emerges through processes of interaction and interpretation (Blumer. parasitology. early career. 1996). Perhaps one of the greatest accomplishments of social studies of science is the demonstration of the messiness and contingency of science. private and public funding H – male. public funding F – male. 6. physics (optics). The use of the term ‘fibbing results’ by Roth & Bowen (2001) is an example of this approach. see Prus (1987. thus constructing for themselves a relatively stable environment within which they can carry out their daily work. of the scientific enterprise. and Dietz et al. organic chemist. public funding D – female. the so-called ‘science wars’. any one of the processes illustrated here could be explored in much greater detail. the ways that academic scientists differentiate between teaching and research. 4. 2010 . A – male. with individual respondents being identified by a letter following a quotation from them. if we are ever to get a firm handle on what is taking place. As a consequence. quaternary geology. The key to these letter designations is as follows. late career. 2. Our understanding of higher education in the sciences is still very sketchy and. early career.924 Social Studies of Science 33/6 undergraduate courses in science. hence. public funding E – male. however. Prus & Sharper (1991). but one that parallels rather than taking precedence over the enculturation of young academic scientists into the world of science itself. the ideal method for exploring this milieu is through interaction with those engaged in constructing and maintaining it. public funding All of the respondents had achieved tenure and therefore the designation ‘early career’ means tenured in the last 2–5 years. For an explanation of the generic social process scheme. I see formal education as only one part. (1994). Similarly. chemical physics. ‘mid-career’ means about 10 years post tenure. Of the 28 scientists interviewed. physical chemistry. however partial and idiosyncratic. private and public funding B – male. scientists attach meaning to the activities that they engage in. early career. and yet this very point is the most common aspect of criticism from scientists and others. early career. private and public funding C – male.

Blumer. especially those identified as ‘laboratory studies’ have tended to focus on very specific subcultures within science. and certainly Haas & Shaffir (1987) and Prus & Sharper (1991) have observed similar processes taking place in the training of other professionals. By way of substantiating my claim. Delamont & Atkinson (2001: 94) indicate that none of the graduate students they interviewed was responsible for identifying their initial research projects. rather than those that are more clearly identifiable as works in the area of science education. See Hacking (1992). Traweek (1988) has received more than 230 citations. I would point out for example that. Pierre (1988) Homo Academicus (Cambridge: Polity Press). For an examination of disciplinary differences in graduate training see Gumport (1993). 12. thereby gaining a clearer picture of what takes place in academic science on a daily basis. I am not suggesting that there are not differences among the sciences.sagepub. Campbell. Andrew (1988) The System of Professions (Chicago. 14. (2000) point out. that might assist with creating a more comprehensive picture of what goes on in science. As Hammersley & Atkinson (1995: 129) indicate: ‘There is a tendency among ethnographers to favor non-directive interviewing in which the interviewee is allowed to talk at length in his or her own terms. in Burton R. Herbert (1969) Symbolic Interactionism (Berkeley. Robert A. I am suggesting that we can understand a great deal of what goes on in all disciplines by abstracting out those processes that they share. CA: University of California Press. Becher. The reason for this is that I think that publications in science studies have had a much broader impact. As Delamont et al. 1983) combined have received fewer than ten citations. See Abbott (1988). In both cases we must take account of context and the effects of the researcher’. Hants. Two criticisms that can be leveled against qualitative interviews are that they are a poor substitute for participant observation and that the accounts provided by respondents can be highly manufactured and suspect. 10.: Ashgate). The Research Foundations of Graduate Education (Berkeley. or other disciplines for that matter. and Haas & Shaffir (1987). whereas two publications by Walford (1981. I will deal with this latter issue in the conclusion of my essay. positive and negative. and identifying those elements that are in fact peculiar or perhaps receive more emphasis in one discipline or another. there are similarities in the experiences of graduate students and supervisors in the social and the natural sciences. As indicated. References Abbott.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. University of Waterloo. on scholarly opinion and on the scientists themselves. PhD Thesis. the influence of the researcher on what is said. but on the former point I offer this observation from Hammersley & Atkinson (1995): 141. as opposed to more directive questioning. and thus to facilitate the open expression of the informant’s perspective on the world’. IL: University of Chicago Press). 2010 . 9. CA: University of California Press): 115–53. my objective here was to draw on data from a number of sites in order to identify commonalities (generic social process). Bourdieu. 8. Paul (1997) The Clinical Experience (Aldershot. Atkinson. who state that: ‘The differences between participant observation and interviewing are not as great as is sometimes suggested.). Many social studies of science. Rather. Atkinson (1997). (1988) ‘An Inquiry into the Generic Social Processes of Science’.Campbell: Preparing the Next Generation of Scientists 925 7. My emphasis in this literature review is on works in the social studies of science. and this approach makes sense when participant observation is the primary data gathering technique. according to the Science Citation Index. rather than generalities. For more general coverage of interviewing in qualitative research. 11. 13. Tony (1993) ‘Graduate Education in Britain: The View from the Ground’. see Spradley (1979). Downloaded from http://sss. as far as possible. The aim here is to minimize. Clark (ed.

CA: SAGE Publications). Sociology of Education 52(3): 129–46. Reskin. (1995) ‘Accounting for Accounts: How Should Sociologists Treat Conversion Stories’. Perspectives on Science 1(1): 1–21. & Bruce G. Paul Atkinson & Odette Parry (2000) The Doctoral Experience: Success and Failure in Graduate School (London: Falmer Press). 2nd edn (London: Routledge). Erving (1961) Asylums (New York: Anchor). (1992) Changing Order: Replication and Induction in Scientific Practice. (1987) ‘Generic Social Processes: Maximizing Conceptual Development in Ethnographic Research’. Merton. Wolff-Michael & G. . Peter & Bruce Hevly (1992) Big Science: The Growth of Large Scale Research (Stanford. Martyn & Paul Atkinson (1995) Ethnography: Principles in Practice. CT: JAI Press). Dawson.. Prus. (1996) Symbolic Interaction and Ethnographic Research: Intersubjectivity and the Study of Human Lived Experience (Albany. IL: University of Chicago Press). Jack & William Shaffir (1987) Becoming Doctors: The Adoption of a Cloak of Competence (Greenwich. (1993) ‘Graduate Education and Research Imperatives: Views from American Campuses’. NY: State University of New York Press). Hull. Robert C. Thomas (1970 [1962]) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Derek J. 2nd edn (Chicago.M. Roth. Prus. The Research Foundations of Graduate Education (Berkeley. and Beyond (New York: Columbia University Press). Haas.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20. Hacking. . 2nd expanded edn (New York: Kaufman and Greenberg).D. Ian (1992) ‘The Self-Vindication of the Laboratory Sciences’. Stephan (1993) ‘Positivism is the Organizational Myth of Science’.926 Social Studies of Science 33/6 Caffarella.sagepub. IL: University of Chicago Press). Delamont. International Journal of Comparative Religion and Philosophy 1: 51–68. Collins. Sara. 261–93. Robert K. CA: Stanford University Press). Fuchs. & Styllianos Irini (1988) Hookers. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 16(3): 250–91. Price. Gumport. Big Science . and Desk Clerks: The Social Organization of the Hotel Community (Salem. Kuhn. Goffman. IL: University of Chicago Press). Robert C. Fleck. Barnett (2000) ‘Teaching Doctoral Students to Become Scholarly Writers: The Importance of Giving and Receiving Critiques’. Prus. Michael Bowen (1999) ‘Digitizing Lizards: The Topology of “Vision” in Ecological Fieldwork’. Social Studies of Science 31(1): 87–107. Social Studies of Science 29(5): 719–64. in Burton R. (1973) The Sociology of Science (Chicago. Downloaded from http://sss. in A. Barbara F.). Robert C. and the Thief Subculture.R. Dietz. Michael Bowen (2001) ‘ “Creative Solutions” and “Fibbing Results”: Enculturation in Field Ecology’. Magic. Roth. & C. Shaffir (1994) Doing Everyday Life: Ethnography as Human Lived Experience (Toronto: Copp Clark Longman). H. Rosemary S. 2010 . Prus & W. IL: University of Chicago Press). IL: University of Chicago Press). Ludwik (1979) The Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact (Chicago. Pickering (ed.C. de Solla (1986) Little Science. Patricia J. Lorne L. Sara & Paul Atkinson (2001) ‘Doctoring Uncertainty: Mastering Craft Knowledge’. (1989) Making Sales: Influence as Interpersonal Accomplishment (Newbury Park. Social Studies of Science 31(4): 533–56. Clark (ed. Giere. CA: University of California Press). Science as Practice and Culture (Chicago. Sharper (1991) Road Hustler: Grifting. Ronald (1988) Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach (Chicago.L. Rounders. Robert C. Robert C. M. R. Prus. Prus. 2nd edn (Chicago. (1979) ‘Academic Sponsorship and Scientists’ Careers’. IL: University of Chicago Press): 24–64. Studies in Higher Education 25(1): 39–52. Galison. Hammersley. WI: Sheffield). David (1988) Science as a Process (Chicago. IL: University of Chicago Press). Delamont.). Wolff-Michael & G.

2010 . and Gary Diver of Webs of Reality: Social Perspectives on Science and Religion (Rutgers. Yvonne Petry. He is co-author with William Stahl. Scarborough. 1265 Military Trail. Geoffrey (1981) ‘Classification and Framing in Postgraduate Education’ Studies in Higher Education 6(2): 147–58. Ontario. Walford. fax: +416 287 7507. Canada M1C 1A4. His primary research interest is in the relationship between religion and science. Geoffrey (1983) ‘Postgraduate Education and the Student’s Contribution to Research’. MA: Harvard University Press). Campbell is Associate Principal in Academic Resources at the University of Toronto at Scarborough. email: rcampbell@utsc. Walford.ca Downloaded from http://sss.utoronto. Robert A.sagepub. 2002). British Journal of Sociology of Education 4(3): 241–54.com at BENEMERITA UNIVERSIDAD on May 20.P. Rinehart & Winston). Traweek. J. Address: University of Toronto at Scarborough. (1979) The Ethnographic Interview (New York: Holt.Campbell: Preparing the Next Generation of Scientists 927 Spradley. Sharon (1988) Beamtimes and Lifetimes: The World of High Energy Physics (Cambridge.