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[Opinion] I Will Not Send My Child to Science And Engineering Field

[Opinion] I Will Not Send My Child to Science And Engineering Field

Posted April. 19, 2002 09:04,   


The 21st is the 35th `Science Day`.

People will spend the day having ceremony and stressing importance of science and technology as usual.

However, I remember `hole game`, which I used to play when I was young on this day that is called the `Science Day`.

We draw `hole` on the ground and put certain people in it.

Although I am caught in the hole, if I pull someone, I can go out.

There can be no miserable `science day` like this year in history.

Above all else, science and technology is known as the source for developing national power and scientists have lived in pride.

However now they are considered to have a `pitiful situation` and such pride has disappeared.

The fact that those who want to enter science and engineering field were only 27 percent as reported, last year end, therefore, `raising science and engineering field` has become a national issue.

Government is suggesting several measures in order to attract students to science and engineering field such as providing education abroad, expanding preference in military field, selecting presidential scholar, and controlling double support. It is thankful anyway.

However, I discover similarities between people who talk about measures for SE and have concerns.

It is that I haven`t seen any one who says, ¡° I will suggest SE to my child¡° among such patriots.

I haven`t heard of researchers in DaeDuk research complex, who used to say, ¡°I will not send my child to SE¡°, changed their decision due to new measures.

On the contrary, as press raised the voice, evading situation is deepening, perceiving ¡°SE field seems to be a bad place¡°.

Then, why do they want to make their child as exception?

Because success by secular standards is not visible.

As compared to their suffering, they have difficulty in making money as well as to approach the power.

Those who think about fame of scientist have become less.

The substantial reason for avoiding it is here, however, government talks about only side parts but nobody is impressed.

Government has made SE field as `the hole` for the last ten years and all people have come to know of this.

If Koreans want to live producing something after twenty years, two substantial matters should be improved, I think.

Firstly, treatment should improve a lot. In fact, government spending on research is huge.

For example, in year 2002, 4 trillion and 900 billion won which are 4.7 percent of government budget was provided for research.

Considering defense expenditure, it is marvelous level even if comparing to any developed country.

However, researchers say that they can`t endure.

There is problem in using the money.

The money for research that government provides is limited in material and equipment. It is not allowed to be used for incentives to encourage researchers.

Researchers say that they feel they are in a Buffet restaurant.

Government say to eat in Buffet restaurant fully not take it to house.

When there is nothing to eat, it is very thankful.

However, when they come to know that neighbors take it home, their mind changes.

It is one of the reasons why they don`t appreciate despite getting big money for research.

Do not try to give 500 million won for research.

Raising 500,000 won for salary is more effective.

Secondly, recruitment system of government officials should be changed.

What can we do to manage modern nation without knowing science and technology?

Nevertheless, government persists with Higher Civil Service Examination that started at the time of Japanese imperialism, when there were few science and technology.

It is said that it is a particular system which exists only in Japan and Korea in the World.

Government selects 50 through engineering examination, on the contrary, it selects 1,200 by state law examination, foreign affairs and civil service examination.

Therefore only 15 percent of high ranking officials are from SE.

To tell people to go to SE field after blocking its way is like deceiving them.

I would like to request one favor from legislator greeting `science day`.

Think over it by putting hand on the chest. Do you think that ¡°it is good for my child to go to SE field¡°.

If ¡°No¡° comes out, you are playing `the hole game`, as aforesaid.

Lee Gwang Hyun (Prof in KAIST, BioSystems)