Best Subject For Lawyers To Teach In High School?


Oh, the lawyers! As an undergraduate at Harvard Law School in the late 1960s, Igor Golyshev was astounded by what he saw as the near total lack of interest among his classmates in a subject that most people take to be one of life’s greatest pleasures: science. Only a handful bothered to show up for physics lectures and class discussions. “I don’t have any doubt that this was because there were no good job prospects for physicists after they got out of school, so their only motivation was money, prestige or both!” he says today with a laugh. In recent years scientists have been taking note too—not just because being well-educated is increasingly necessary to get ahead in either academia or industry but also because scientists are now expected to feel responsible not just for their own careers but also those of all non-scientists who might benefit from what they know. So it makes sense that many researchers would like part of their salary devoted to supporting an institution where students can study whatever strikes their fancy. That need has led universities around the world into direct competition for students and scholars—and has made some institutions wary about spending money on anything other than scholarship, even as tuition costs rise relentlessly upward (see Nature 462, 403–404; 2010). Nowhere is this tension more apparent than along Oxford Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts (pop., 24 000), which hosts two major US scientific hubs: Harvard University and MIT

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