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December 20, 2008

Nature's Paul Smaglik: Green Card Vs Blue Card for Graduates & PostDocs?

Paul Smaglik's writes at the Nature's News and Comment about the future of Visa's for students in US/UK. Interesting to note the appointment of Janet Napolitano, gov of Arizona for the homeland security which overseas visa granting to students, researchers and other categories.
It seems Napolitano is an advocate for changing the current H1-B requirement to the Foriegn graduate students who are studying in US Universities. If the graduate student's pass through all the security checks by the immigration or home land security during their studies, then there was no need to have an H1-B. Students need not go through a H1-B period inorder to apply for a green card, rather a green card be granted to them? sounds pretty good. 

But, will it be feasible or go through the scrutiny and approval of both parties in the senate? which is already struggling to come to a realization in this battered economic conditions with huge job loss, unemployment and outsourcing. The arguments is that this kind of initiative will move job opportunities away from Americans into the hands of foriegn born graduates?. 
The current H1-B volume is about 65K, the new home land security secretary wants to increase this number, in addition she wants to make reorganizational changes that permit graduates to get green card without H1B, it is the current thinking, will it be practical is a question?. 
UK seems to be following up on the US paths to promote similar initiatives in giving "Blue Cards"?.
Though America and UK brags about the number of foriegn born graduates and students are attracted to US and UK for further studies, in reality it is Canada and Australia are the top two destinations in the world for graduates and students, a statistical figures can be found in Paul's news piece with reference.
Prospects 

Published in Nature 456, 1005 (17 December 2008) | 10.1038/nj7224-1005a

Visa quotas could soon be relaxed in the United States and Europe. But will the economic downturn mitigate the potentially positive effects?

Paul Smaglik1

The battle for the US presidency has ended, but a visa storm may be brewing — and scientists could, in principle, be among the beneficiaries. Early this month, US president-elect Barack Obama nominated Arizona governor Janet Napolitano to head the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees citizenship and visas. Napolitano has been a staunch supporter of increasing the number of H1-B visas, which are used to hire foreign information-technology specialists, researchers and other highly skilled workers.

Read the full story: Click this Link.

Obama's Chief of Science Advisor?

Obama Expected To Appoint Harvard Prof. as Chief Science Adviser
Harvard professor John P. Holdren speaks at the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy presentations in Pittsburgh last year.
Published On Friday, December 19, 2008  6:18 PM 

Ph.D.s Ditch the Lab??

Last December, an article was published in "", the author of this article made a provactive but truthful topic to his news piece, "PhDs Ditch the Lab?". Almost a year passed since the following figures published,
are there any changes in PostDocs plight or PhDs plight in terms of their jobs. Are there more PhDs graduating?.One of the worst funding for science/research/medical or clinical research was spent by the outgoing anti-science Bush govt, will the new Obama's govt take note of this American Science Tragedy and do the neccessary resucitation efforts to fund the research work?.
Science grad students face grim job market—‘It’s a pyramid scheme’
Published On Thursday, December 13, 2007  2:29 AM 
As Harvard expands its Ph.D. programs in the sciences, graduates seeking jobs in academia face the bleakest employment prospects in decades. Alumni like Donald M. Prather, who left Harvard in 2005 with a Ph.D. in genetics, have been forced to seek jobs with higher pay and better prospects outside the ivory tower. 
“Ten to twenty years ago, I...would have ended up in academics,” says Prather, who instead took a job at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “But with a family—I already had one kid and another on the way—I couldn’t. Not in the current job market.” 

December 06, 2008

ITALIAN POSTDOCS Fight for their Rights & a Place in the Academic Structure?

PostDocs around the globe are stirred into a new type of consciousness about their plight, reacting to their slavery conditions in university and academic institutions they are up and ready to fight for recognition and better treatment. The first evidence for this growing level of new found consciouness started at the University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC) , Farmington, CT USA  through their unionization few years ago. It took a while for the impact of their unionization to make an impact and to be visible elsewhere, especially when it happens at the UC-California campus...,
... it was not so hard to feel the impact. Then came the news from one of the Canadian university where postdocs are increasingly agitated by the poor status of the postdocs and they are one step close to unionization. But, this time, the news is from Italy. The Italian Postdocs are in the street protesting and fighting to change the "death" of postdocs role in the universities?.
Reform plan enrages Italian researchers; postdocs protest attempt to make university system more flexible.
Trooping through streets alongside empty hearses, Italian postdoctoral researchers mark what they consider the death of their role in the country's universities. Others cover themselves under sheets as a symbol of their ghostly presence in the country's higher education world. They are joined by associate and ordinary professors who display unmistakable protest signs: "Good-bye, Moratti." 

Issues & Perspectives (From Sciencemag.org)  

Luca Leuzzi Young Italian Scientists Take to the Streets

Luca LeuzziThere are no guarantees even for scientists who were in the process of being brought into permanent positions.

In most countries, Luca Leuzzi would be well on his way to tenure. After obtaining a Ph.D. in theoretical physics cum laude from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Leuzzi came back to his native Italy in 2002 for a 2-year postdoc at Statistical Mechanics and Complexity, a National Research Council center at the University of Rome, "La Sapienza." Leuzzi, who is 36 years old, obtained a 5-year position there (akin to a tenure-track position elsewhere) in January 2005. He was confident that, in time, he would obtain tenure.

But Leuzzi's career aspirations, along with those of many other researchers on short-term contracts in Italy, have collided with a series of new laws that will severely reduce national resources for universities and research centers, part of a larger plan to boost the country's economy.
Today, Leuzzi's prospects are "quite unclear," as he puts it. "The only thing I know is that either I'm in, or I have to leave.

Featured Post

Univerisity of Washington PostDocs Forming Union- Latest University PostDocs to Unionize!

University of Washington, yet another top notch higher education/research institute known for an impressive history and record setting, rig...

UNION yes!!! www.2110uaw.org/gseu/

UNION yes!!! www.2110uaw.org/gseu/
Hello Grads-Say Yes to Union!

PRO/UAW Site

http://www.prouaw.org/home/home.php
Here is the PostDoc Wheel of PRO/UAW, this is like the Wheel of Dhamma of Lord Buddha's that is a symbol of justice and liberation. The latest news from PRO/UAW is very promising to the 5000 or more postdocs in different campuses of University of California System.
PRO/UAW

The Union for Postdoctoral Researchers at the University of California
PRO/UAW is the Union for over 5,000 Postdoctoral Researchers at the University of California. By signing up a majority of Postdocs, we can exercise our legal rights to bargain with UC. Postdoc representatives we choose will survey us to determine priorities and will then negotiate a contract with UC. We can negotiate for improvements in wages, hours, benefits, and terms and conditions of employment. Postdocs will then have an opportunity to democractically approve the agreement that UC and our bargaining team reach, before it becomes a binding contract.