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Again, Presidentís Scholars Not Doing Engineering or Science

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 16-08-2009, 03:33 PM
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Default Again, Presidentís Scholars Not Doing Engineering or Science

Congratulations to the latest batch of Presidentís Scholars. But like last yearís batch, not a single one of them will be doing a science or engineering related course.

In a way, this confirms the doom of science and technology careers in Singapore.

In fact, four of the six Presidentís Scholars this year will read Economics.

Although Economics is classified as a social science and can be a very mathematical subject (especially in the US), itís more about the movement of money than constructing useful things.

Itís about the money.

Engineers like Lee Bee Wah can claim that some high earners have engineering degrees but the fact remains that none of the best-paying jobs here require an engineering degree.

The ďdumping groundĒ courses in NUS and NTU are also dominated by engineering courses.

With all respect, Iím guessing that the bulk of Ms Leeís income actually comes from her non-engineering work.

As a Member of Parliament, Ms Lee receives $190,000 in allowance per year, which is easily much higher than that of the best-paying engineering-related job (Computer operations and network manager).

Iím not sure how much pay she receives in her current full-time job as a ďPrincipal Partner, LBW Consultants / LBW Consultants LLPĒ, or in her previous job as an ďAsst. Project Manager, Wing Tai Property Management Ptd LtdĒ (reference: her CV).

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-2009, 02:10 PM
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I think you make a good point. I sure wish I were paid more as a scientist.

One reason that none of the Presidentís Scholars are going into science or engineering is that A*Star gives out a lot of scholars. While theyíre not as prestigious, they also catch them earlier.

Just a thoughtÖ

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-2009, 02:10 PM
scientists poor
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Mike, you said it. The smart engineers-to-be are awarded inferior scholarships that will lead them to low paying jobs, while the truly smart ones get the most prestigious scholarships and one day become millionaire civil servants holding top posts in the administration.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-2009, 02:10 PM
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All those thinking of going into Science courses please read - a Singaporean scientist with a Stanford PHD became a taxi-driver :

A Singapore Taxi Driver's Diary
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-2009, 02:11 PM
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life is cruel
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-2009, 02:11 PM
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economics is a dismal science
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-2009, 02:15 PM
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A brilliant molecular scientist, whose work led to 3 others getting the Nobel Prize, is now a bus driver:

Douglas Prasher - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ďPrasher reported that he was unable to find a job in science, his life savings had run out and that he was working as a courtesy shuttle bus driverÖĒ

ďChalfie and Tsien invited Prasher and his wife, Virginia Eckenrode, to attend the Nobel Prize ceremony, as their guests and at their expense. All three of the 2008 Chemistry laureates thanked Prasher in their speeches.Ē
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-2009, 02:16 PM
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This is the real irony of our world. People doing productive work will eventually get punished for it. Why would you want to invent anything if you can get greater money trading it? It also brings to mind Warren Buffetís story about a couple of people stranded on an island where one person becomes an economist, another one becoming the worker getting food, etc and the others trading on the stuff the worker produces.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 19-09-2009, 02:16 PM
shocked Singaporean
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I canít believe it.

First, the news about the China-born former Astar researcher with a PhD turned TAXI DRIVER! And now this news!! The brilliant molecular scientist now a bus driver..canít believe it..OMG.
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