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Staff Paper No. 585 - Abstract

Modern Agricultural Science in Transition: A Survey of U.S. Land-Grant Agricultural and Life Scientists

Bradford L. Barham [bradford.barham@wisc.edu]
Jeremy D. Foltz [jdfoltz@wisc.edu]
Maria Isabella R. Agnes [magnes@wisc.edu]
Jordan van Rijn [vanrijn@wisc.edu]

Staff Paper No. 585, January 2017, 23p.

Abstract

This Summary Report analyzes the current state of the land-grant agricultural research system and the attitudes, background, productivity and research performance of its current scientists. Specifically, the report summarizes the survey responses of agricultural and life science faculty regarding demographic characteristics, educational background and academic appointments, allocation of time across different activities, sources of research funding, important factors for selecting research topics, research collaboration and outputs, linkages between universities and private industry, and attitudes regarding reward systems and incentives. Some of the outcomes are quite positive in terms of productivity and potential for improving the scientific contribution of university researchers, while others are troubling with respect to their potential effects on morale and scientist effort. Also, noteworthy across the time period is the consistency of many faculty attitudes and activity patterns with respect to doing science mostly for the joy of discovery and not for commercialization purposes.
Last updated on Wed, Feb 1, 2017 10:40am