To commemorate their 50th anniversary, the National Science Board (NSB) and National Science Foundation released a "special" edition of their Science and Engineering Indicators report this week.
Designed to provide a "broad base" of scientific and technological information to the President, Congress, and policy-makers, the biennially produced Indicators are also an invaluable resource for upcoming scientists and students. Information on research developments, funding trends, occupational hotspots, industrial "needs," graduate education, and salaries, for example, is all available in the two-volume publication that is accessible online.
Information technology, a sector of research deemed by the NSB to be one of the most rapidly expanding research disciplines--and industries--in the U.S., is included in the report for the very first time this year. Backing up NSB's data, Robert Richardson, NSB member and 1996 Nobel laureate in Physics, revealed during the report's release at the National Press Club on June 19 that to serve the expanding information technology job market, "1.3 million new computer scientists, computer engineers, systems analysts, and computer programmers will be needed between 1996 and 2006." Combined with the dearth of qualified workers, such growth means industry and academia are actively seeking candidates who can fulfil IT demand.
Indicators also includes a number of other new features--globalization and international comparisons; information on attitudes toward biotechnology; age and retirement trends; and more information on foreign scientists and mobility patterns. Upcoming--and more established--scientists would do well to examine the report to better understand their position within the larger scientific community.