High-level commission discusses future of graduate education in the chemical sciences

Feb. 5, 2013

by David Tenenbaum

Members of an American Chemical Society commission will discuss the need for radical changes to graduate education in the chemical sciences at a colloquium in Madison Feb. 7.

Photo: Bassam Shakhashiri

Shakhashiri

"For more than half a century, steady financial support for research and education in the chemical sciences has given the United States high-quality graduate programs that attract talent from around the world," says Bassam Shakhashiri, immediate past president of ACS.

"But the current practices for educating the next generation of scientists may not be meeting the needs of the students and the larger society," adds Shakhashiri, a professor of chemistry at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Shakhashiri says the commission's proposals "would alter graduate education to make better use of the nation’s vast educational, industrial, and government resources to prepare students for their professional careers and to meet society-wide human needs over the next 50 years."

At the meeting, Shakhashiri and fellow commission member William Banholzer, chief technical officer of the Dow Chemical Company, will engage UW-Madison faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows in discussing recommendations for meeting the current challenges. 

The colloquium is Thursday, Feb. 7, at 3:30 p.m. in the Seminar Room of Daniels Chemistry Building (corner of W. Johnson and N. Mills Streets). The commission report can be found here.