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Steve Nahn | USLHC | USA

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Turning them away

Another sign of the apocalypse: It was the week of the Open House for prospective graduate students at MIT, and I met about a dozen of the best and brightest undergraduates interested in Experimental Particle Physics. At this time when there is a peak in interest in the LHC, we are hitting a nadir in funding necessary to bring the new students on board and I had to tell them that were in not for the funding situation I would be happy to bring them into the group, but because of funding I have to turn the majority of them away. I hope they find a spot in another top notch institution and become my collaborators anyway, but am not confident that given the overall situation in Fundamental Research at the frontiers of knowledge that all institutions are not in the same boat, more or less. At a recent meeting of the MIT faculty of the School of Science, MIT President Hockfield (who is working hard to make things better in this direction on our behalf, which I appreciate greatly) opened the discussion with “I don’t need to tell you why we need to increase Graduate Fellowships” which tells me that this problem is endemic.

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