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Salient. Special Salient Issue. Careers Information Week. 1961

Career Prospects In The Department Of Scientific And Industrial Research

page 28

Career Prospects In The Department Of Scientific And Industrial Research

The science graduate's choice of career will be influenced by many considerations. Are you seeking first, material gains, or are you interested in knowledge for its own sake and the satisfaction that is found in grappling with the problems posed by nature? Higher salaries may be obtainable by the right men in private industry, but the D.S.I.R. offers advantages in other ways. For example, publication of the results of research is encouraged by the department: there are opportunities for taking part in long-term projects; senior officers are in certain cases, given freedom to pursue lines of research that particularly interest them, provided they are consistent with the general policy of the department: and there is frequently the stimulus of working in a team of co-workers and the valuable daily contact with fellow scientists in the same or other disciplines. A further advantage is the possibility of travel within New Zealand or overseas—to attend scientific congresses or visit research institutions for discussion of common problems.

Requirements of a Scientist

What does a scientific career in the D.S.I.R. demand of a new recruit? Academic knowledge is not sufficient of itself: this must be backed by an ability to work industriously and painstakingly when searching for answers to problems. To be worthy of the title of scientist a person must also be creative and capable of original thought. An ability to report one's results clearly and succinctly is also essential.

In the New Zealand D.S.I.R. there are many opportunities for scientific work in a wide range of subjects. In its 22 divisions are employed chemists, physicists, mathematicians, geologists, botanists zoologists, agricultural scientists, and engineers, as well as more specialized workers such as entomologists, bacteriologists, mycologists, paleontologists, plant pathologists, and geneticists

Type of Research

There seems to be a widespread misapprehension that government research is largely of an applied or practical nature. This however, is not so, as it has ben found that the best results are obtained where a considerable proportion of the time and effort is devoted to basic or fundamental research In the New Zealand D.S.I.R.. as in the United Kingdom, the value and importance of fundamental research is recognised. It provides an incentive for the best scientific brains and produces a flow of new ideas and conclusions, some of which are bound to find practical application, some times in the most unexpected ways.

Salary Prospects

A recent salary increase has brought D.S.I.R. pay into line with that of similarly qualified and experienced men and women on the staffs of the universities.

The Department's laboratories arewell equipped with the mod modern apparatus and instruments, libraries are well stocked, and the material facilities for research are second to none in the world. Think about a scientific career in D.S.I.R. Vacancies arising are advertised in the daily press, but enquiries are welcomed at any time from graduates, especially those with first-class honours.

Examining wheat grains in wheat breeding experiments.

Examining wheat grains in wheat breeding experiments.

Taking thermo-electric recordings at Wairakei.

Taking thermo-electric recordings at Wairakei.