"So, You Want to Be A Science Professor!"
The Education Business: Things My Mother Never Told Me

Richard H. Bube

Department of Materials Science & Engineering
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305

[From Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, 41:143-151 (1989)]
©1996 by the American Scientific Affiliation

A career as a science professor in one of today's major research universities holds many unique opportunities for meaningful and satisfying service, but such a career may be quite different from the popular conception of what such a position entails. In choosing a career, talented young Christians should be aware of the actual duties, limitations, and opportunities of various possible choices. My purpose in this paper is not to discourage Christians from entering into academic careers where their insights, inputs, and witness are indeed most valuable, but to give some perspective on what it means to be a research science professor today, so that Christians contemplating such careers will be better informed about them. It is also my desire to encourage them to develop and preserve patterns within such an academic career that allow a continuation of the most beneficial and significant relationships in the midst of changing situations.


A Career as a member of the science faculty of a major university carries with it a definite mystique that makes it especially appealing to many students as they contemplate the nature of the career toward which they should direct themselves and their plans. An academic career promises opportunities for professional and personal development without some of the pressures and limitations usually identified as characteristic of a career in the competitive business environment of industrial research and development. These opportunities are indeed still present, but changing patterns driven by a mounting sense of worldwide competition are in the process of making major changes in university goals and living. As a consequence, many of the commonly accepted perspectives on academic life are now being challenged, and a new participant in the academic enterprise may be surprised at distance between expectation and reality.

It is especially important that bright, young Christians trained in science be aware of the actual situations they are likely to encounter in different career choices, rather than committing themselves to a particular choice solely on the basis of a romanticized or idealized perspective. With this awareness, hopefully they will be better informed and fortified to carry through to authentic success in all aspects of their life as disciples of Jesus Christ.

To focus attention, we consider the fictitious personal history of one Jack Challenge, which epitomizes the common expectation of what it means to be a science professor in a major research university. (What is said of him is equally true, if not more so, of his colleague in graduate school, Jane Compete.)

Jack Challenge, Professor of Science

Handsome, young Jack Challenge is the typical Professor of Science at Numberone University. At age 27 he had earned his Ph.D. with a brilliant dissertation on a topic of great scientific and practical importance, and was promptly appointed an Assistant Professor with tenure, at Numberone University, one of the most famous research universities in the country.

Now his principal concern is the development of his research students, and his role in helping these bright young minds sharpen and mature through exciting teaching and research opportunities. He knows that his own success can be measured not only in the technical training of his students, but also in the personal qualities that they exhibit in their lives.

As a scientist, Prof. Jack Challenge rejoices to be a member of a community of scholars dedicated to the pursuit of those truths susceptible to scientific investigation, and his major activity in the carrying out of research is guided by his desire to pursue problems in areas and of types that he perceives to be of interest and importance, and that seem to be suitable for helping his students grow.

He is grateful that as an academic, a member of a university faculty, he enjoys the protection and seclusion of "the Ivory Tower," while at the same time he takes care to be in touch with the world around him. He is grateful also that he has the time and opportunity for serious reflective thought, that he can give himself professionally to total absorption in the scholarly pursuits related to his academic activities, and that he has the unique opportunities to work one-on-one with students on projects that they have designed together.

This fanciful scenario summarizes many of the most attractive aspects of a career as a science professor. When they can be achieved, few would deny that such a career is highly desirable.

When assessed against today's academic climate, however, it involves at least ten partial or total misconceptions of what it means to be a Professor Science at a major university today. By examining each of these in turn, we are able to come to a more realistic assessment of what such a position means.

1. Get Tenure

In the real world no young person completes a Ph.D. Dissertation, no matter how well done, and then immediately receives a tenured appointment at a major university. Tenure, in those universities which continue this practice, means acceptance into a permanent position at the university, from which a faculty member cannot be removed except for gross neglect of duty or moral turpitude. It was designed to preserve a free scholarly atmosphere, so that scholars whose opinions differed from those of the university administration could not be summarily fired for political reasons. Once a faculty member has been employed continuously for more than 6 years--i.e., when he receives an appointment for the seventh and later years--he is considered to have received tenure.

In most cases today, tenure constitutes for the young faculty member a trial-by-fire, a 6-year indentured servanthood at the Assistant Professor level, with the carrot of a tenured permanent appointment at the end of the stick. Even this carrot is not always present, since some major universities hire many more Assistant Professors than to whom they could possibly give tenured permanent positions. This leads to an environment where several Assistant Professors scramble madly not only to satisfy the university system, but in competition with one another to secure the only tenured position really available.

Many of the other chores associated with teaching large classes or with the time-consuming tasks of laboratory development and management regularly fall to the young faculty member seeking tenure.

The effort to receive tenure is a difficult period indeed in the life of a young faculty member. He has to undertake a teaching load often heavier than that assigned to tenured faculty, perhaps teaching and developing courses for the first time, and at the same time rate highly on whatever method is used to evaluate teaching quality at that university. Although some major university science departments do make a real effort to have most of the introductory courses taught by distinguished, tenured faculty, many of the other chores associated with teaching large classes or with the time- consuming tasks of laboratory development and management regularly fall to the young faculty member seeking tenure.

The young faculty member also has the task of getting a research program started at the same time. Most of the financial support for research comes form the government, with some possibly coming from related industries, and this must be secured by the individual faculty member through proposals, personal contacts, and an assortment of other uncertain routes. The young faculty member just starting out, with a limited experience, is competing for many of these funds with senior faculty members with distinguished reputations and years of interaction with the funding agencies. In some cases the young faculty member may be fortunate enough to be taken on as a participant in an already existing research program of a senior faculty member, which relieves the immediate pressure to raise funds successfully. In such a case, however, it is essential for the young faculty member to disassociate himself as quickly as possible from the senior faculty member, if he wishes to avoid the doubt that he is unable to carry out his own research and gain his own research support.

There are many other demands upon the young faculty member seeking tenure, who must prove himself to be a loyal and useful member of the department in which he is appointed. Some of these demands are discussed in more detail later in terms of the general duties that a science professor carries.

The young faculty member must also be assiduous in publishing papers, appearing at a variety of professional society meetings, presenting papers, getting to know and to interact with leaders in his field, and in general making certain that his name and career are recognized. For in order to obtain that final vote for tenure, it is essential at every major university that the faculty member be declared to be one of the very best people in the world in his field in the opinion of experts and well-known senior faculty around the world. The tenure test is not exhaustively described by "publish or perish," but a long publication list judged to be distinguished and valuable by other authorities is an essential ingredient.

2. Help Young Minds Develop

Of course, any serious science professor will have the development of his students as one of his highest priorities. The opportunity to watch students mature and develop is one of the great joys of an academic career, but the actual situation at a major research university may make the attainment of this ideal a little more difficult than anticipated. It is important to appreciate what frequently happens in the process of the brightest students becoming enrolled at a particular university.

We frequently hear that there is or will be a shortage of competent scientists or engineers. This is presumably because the number of bright American students who choose science or engineering for graduate education is not large enough. The number of universities competing for them, however, is large. One of the results is that many university departments today, in order to function and to have the enrollment required for their continuation, have research students drawn primarily from other counties in the world. Another is that competition for the available American students is very sharp.

Science or engineering professors do not simply welcome the bright students who choose to come to their university, but often they and others at the university are engaged in a major effort to recruit students using a variety of methods more commonly associated with corporate life than with universities. Prospective graduate students come to interview the faculty at particular universities to see to which university they will choose to come.

University financial aid committees compete with their counterparts at other universities to see who can offer the most financially awarding fellowships or financial aid packages. The top students may receive several financial offers from different universities; they naturally tend to accept the most financially rewarding in the same way that an athlete will go to the university that offers the most promising scholarship. Larger departments have staff whose major job is to travel around the country recruiting the best students for that university, much like major industrial laboratories carry on active recruitment programs for their employment needs. In smaller departments individual faculty often carry all or part of this kind of activity.

At the bottom of much of these machinations is the conviction that a Number One University can accept only Number One students. The desire of a faculty member to help underdeveloped or underprivileged students to develop into mature people and scientists or engineers, meets with great barriers in spite of sincere programs of Affirmative Action. A university that regards itself as great cannot afford to be held back by students who do not themselves deserve the attribute "great."

Frequently, therefore,students come to be regarded as a commodity. The university admits only the best students, because to admit others would be to downgrade the quality of the university. The best students are by definition those who by the date of their application have the best academic records, can score the highest scores on entrance examinations, and can command the most laudatory letters of recommendation.

Financial aid is reserved only for the best students, since the limited funds available cannot be used except to increase the potential greatness of the university through its student body. Individual faculty will accept into their research programs only the best students, because if they don't, their own personal greatness and their ability to obtain support for their research will suffer. There is a temptation, resisted of course by the more conscientious faculty, to exploit students, with less concern for their personal and professional development and more concern for their publically perceived impact on the professors, their departments, and the university.

3. Measure Personal Success by Maturation of Students

When are professors successful? Ideally, so goes the traditional response guiding our friend Jack Challenge, this happens as they watch the maturing of their students, not only in their technical skills but also in their personal understanding and evaluation of life. This is a goal that any Christian faculty member would seek after.

Again, there are a number of temptations and pitfalls in the real world that complicate the situation. The world always misunderstands "success." This is so universally true that a new definition of success for Christians is essential. In everyday life, a person is judged successful according to the number and financial value of the things that he has. In a Christian perspective, on the other hand, a person is judged successful in terms of what kind of person he is.

The science professor is commonly judged successful if his name appears on a large number of scientific publications that others believe to be significant, if he is able to obtain financial support for large research programs and for the purchase of major capital equipment, if his research group is large and includes a number of post-doctoral fellows, if he graduates large numbers of Ph.D.'s, if he and his name are recognized by his colleagues around the world as being a leader in his field, if he is the recipient of professional prizes and awards, if he is elected to prestigious professional honorary societies, and if his students replicate or exceed his record.

In the ordinary course of life, the young faculty member will almost certainly find himself immersed in personal rivalries, academic and professional politics, and viewpoints that are basically culturally determined and are not as open as is ideally held.

These are indeed hallmarks of some aspects of success of the faculty member, but they make no specific mention whatsoever of the students involved, and the effects of their experience with the professor on their development and maturing. Do they have a sound understanding of their discipline, not only in the limited sense of the technical aspects themselves, but in the larger sense of their relationship to other dimensions of life? Are they better persons, as well as trained scientists or engineers, or are they committed to the same limited criteria of success that governs so much of human activity?

Common criteria for the success of a professor in "turning out" students once again follow the guidelines of business: how many jobs are offered to each of his graduates, and how large are their starting salaries? It is often said, with a somewhat different thrust in mind, to be sure, that "Students are our product." This can mean that students are little more than commodities to be recruited, refined, marketed, and merchandised. They enter as "raw material" and can command a larger salary when they leave because of the educational "value added."

It requires conscious and continued effort on the part of a Christian faculty member to avoid these kinds of extremes.

4. Participate in a Community Dedicated to Truth

There is admittedly a wide spectrum of approaches in the different branches of science and engineering. At one end of the spectrum is the search for descriptions of the natural world that are widely relevant and allow predictions of new properties not previously known or understood; this is what is commonly meant when speaking of the search for "scientific truth." At the other end of the spectrum is the attempt to derive short-term practical applications suitable for rapid commercialization. The trend with the passage of time seems to be to place more emphasis on the latter of these approaches and less on the former; we will say more about this aspect later.

Between the two extremes, however, lies the ordinary career world of scientists and engineers, in which personal success and recognition often dominate any considerations of "scientific truth." Any observant person engaged in science quickly recognizes the fiction of "total objectivity" which is often claimed for science and its practitioners. Scientists are human beings engaged in a human activity. All knowledge is partial and intimately related to fundamental faith commitments of the individual. Science provides us only with partial insights into part of physical reality.

What scientists are and what they do is characterized by the same attributes that mark all of human activity. When the best attributes dominate, scientists do engage in an exciting quest for understanding, and engineers do engage in a thrilling search for applications. But in the ordinary course of life, the young faculty member will almost certainly find himself immersed in personal rivalries, academic and professional politics, and viewpoints that are basically culturally determined and are not as open as is ideally held.

The United States is almost unique in having a university program in which senior rank faculty are provided with absolutely no research support of any kind.

He will find himself torn between the mad scramble for professional recognition on the one hand, and the equally mad scramble for practical results on the other. He will often be unable to pursue "the truth" in any other way than is defined by his own quest for career success and the demands of those supplying the funding for his research.

5. Do Research

Why else would a person become a research science professor except to actively participate in research?

It cannot fail to come as some kind of shock, therefore, to realize that a professor's time available for actual, hands-on, in- laboratory research is severely limited, usually shrinking from a few hours per week during the early stages of a growing research program to none within a few years. This does not mean that the professor stops being involved with research, but that the real demands on his time (assuming that he also has some life outside the university walls) force him to carry out this involvement in a vicarious way through review and advising sessions with his graduate students rather than in a direct way in the laboratory. This vicarious participation mode is hastened by the realization that the research equipment must become "the student's" and no longer be "the professor's," if the student is to mature in his scientific life.

Of perhaps even more importance, however, is the fact that the funding and paperwork associated with research is so time-consuming that, coupled with other obligations of the conscientious faculty member to his teaching, department and university committees, and professional community beyond the university (not to mention the obligations of the faculty member as a member of a family, community, or church), virtually no time for direct research is left.

The doing of research requires money for graduate students' stipends, technical services, many miscellaneous expenses associated with the doing of the research, and the increasingly expensive capital equipment required to do modern research. The university itself provides none of this support. In most countries of the world, appointment to the rank of Professor (or its equivalent) carries with it a basic funding for research at a modest level; if the Professor desires a larger research program, then he must find support from government or industry.

In recent years the portion of the research budget funded for military applications has grown rapidly, while at the same time the budget funded for non-military applications has shrunk.

The United State is almost unique in having a university program in which senior rank faculty are provided with absolutely no research support of any kind. Faculty in the United States must find all their support from government agencies or interested industries.

The individual who commits himself to a career as a research professor is therefore committing himself to an unending effort to obtain, renew, and maintain financial support. While intending to have a career in the doing of science or engineering, the professor finds that he must become an in-house entrepreneur in order to carry out any research. The university does supply the buildings, the electricity, etc. needed for the research; but for this participation, the university charges the individual's research contract with an overhead percentage, which typically doubles the amount that the professor must obtain to carry out his research (i.e., if he needs $100,000 per year for the actual expenses of research, he must obtain $200,000 per year).

One way that this financial support is obtained by the individual professor (or small group of professors) is by writing and submitting proposals for research to various government agencies or industrial companies. Often it is necessary to spend time travelling to the various agency or industry headquarters to meet personally with representatives and increase the probability of proposal acceptance. Such proposals usually experience a fairly small acceptance rate, which means that many proposals must be prepared and executed for each program that is actually funded.

Once a program has been funded, then regular reports must be written to describe the progress, regular meetings must be attended to report on the progress, and care must be taken that the funding agency receives due credit in all publications and public news items. The frequency of required written reports ranges from once a year to once a month.

Usually research funding by government agencies is directed toward long-term developments, although there are certainly striking examples of focus on near-future success by government agencies. But research funding by industrial companies is, almost by its very nature, focussed on the near-future solution of problems of concern to the company and to the development of prototype products suitable for commercialization. Failure to meet these short-term goals, even if the research is successful in providing insights into fundamental understanding, is usually cause for discontinuation by the industry.

In many ways, therefore, the young person aspiring to be a science professor must exchange a self-image as a white-coated experimenter with chemicals and electronics for one as a least part-time business executive or fund-raiser.

6. Pursue Problems of Personal Interest and Importance

True or False: Being a science professor provides the opportunity to carry out research programs in areas of personal interest and importance to the professor, chosen to provide the best framework within which to help his students to grow. Not necessarily true.

Once again, the fact of the matter is that research can be carried out only if financial funding for the research can be obtained. Government agencies and industrial companies have their own agenda of priorities. Science professors work in areas that the government agencies or industries are willing to support; by definition they do not work in other areas. In order to be successful they must follow the research dollar.

Now it is true that within the areas supported by government or industry there is a range of possible problems, and science professors do have the freedom to submit proposals in areas they consider interesting and important, as well as being suitable for the developing of their graduate students, and to ignore others. The downside of the picture is that this freedom is often severely limited. In recent years the portion of the research budget funded for military applications has grown rapidly, while at the same time the budget for non-military applications has shrunk.

Far from being insulated from the practical world around, the professor is in daily interaction with that world and its demands in order to keep his program, department, school, and university competitive with others.

In no area of unquestioned vital importance for the future of this country and the whole world are the limitations imposed by funding agencies more obvious than in the area of alternative energy sources. Sources of support for research in these areas has decreased year by year as the temporary relief from apparent energy shortage misleads many into believing that there are no serious problems, even though environmental concerns daily grow in the background. Can a science or engineering professor today obtain major financial support for a research program in alternative energy sources? It is at best very difficult.

The development of students demands the kind of project in which they can explore the scientific and engineering dimensions of a problem over a several year span, asking and answering questions of a fairly fundamental nature. But if support for the research is obtained from an industrial source, it is much more likely that the program will be fashioned to deal with the solution of pressing problems, while relegating more fundamental investigations to a much lower priority. If a science professor has the opportunity to obtain industrial support for a project in which his students will essentially play the role of industrial technicians, should he accept the support? Even if the subject is important and the problem timely, will it provide the environment suitable for the growth in knowledge and experience of his students? If this is the only support available, dare a professor turn it down?

7. Enjoy the Seclusion of "The Ivory Tower"

Can the science or engineering professor at a major research university still continue to think of the academic joys of release from the constraints of the immediately practical demands of the society around, or has that escape become almost a total fiction?

Someone sketching the ideal day of the ideal science professor might imagine that he spends his time in actual laboratory research, in reflection on scientific or engineering problems, on the analysis of such problems and the design of future experiments, on teaching his students both by lecture and by example through experience, and perhaps in some involvement with the academic aspects of university life in general.

The actual day of the science or engineering professor diverges further and further from this ideal. While some elements of the above picture of course persist, they must be carefully protected and preserved, or else they will be increasingly crowded out by the need to be absorbed in what can only be described as advertising, marketing, and public relations. Far from being insulated from the practical world around, the professor is in daily interaction with that world and its demands in order to keep his program, department, school, and university competitive with others.

The naive non-academic might conclude that the funds required to run a department and a program within a department (except for the funds needed for research as discussed above) come from the university with its resources derived from tuition, fees, endowments, and overhead charges. But increasing competition between universities, a growing administrative hierarchy, and the need to "build or perish," cause the university to put more and more financial burdens directly on the departments themselves.

Usually the university supplies faculty salaries (although in many institutions science and engineering faculty are required to pay a portion of their salary from research), a portion of the salaries for administrative support staff, and a small amount for daily operation of the department--but nothing else. Few departments are able to operate successfully as far as teaching and resources are concerned, not to mention the acquisition of capital equipment, on the funds supplied by the university. They are forced to come up with money-raising schemes of their own through the participation of the faculty. Major efforts are made at enticing industries and occasionally individuals to give financial gifts to the department to meet its direct needs in competition with other departments at other universities around the country.

This is hardly the kind of environment that life in an "Ivory Tower" conjures up. Whether or not it is "bad," might be debated, but it is undebatable that it is different from the concept that most young people hold with regard to the duties and functions of a science or engineering professor.

8. Have Time to Think

Many view academic life as a quiet retreat, with many hours for reflection and thought, providing the opportunity for the development of creative ideas that demand that kind of uninterrupted cogitation. As a matter of fact, if a science professor requires "time to think" today, he is more likely to get as far off campus as possible.

While on campus he is likely to find himself spending a good deal of his time scrambling to meet administrative details imposed upon him: filling out and submitting forms, writing reports on his academic profess, responding to live or recorded telephone messages or to electronic mail, drafting documents for department use, attending administrative meetings of one type or another, meeting with visitors to the department, meeting with students who are on campus to see if they wish to apply for graduate study, etc. And all of these are in addition to the normal daily needs for the preparation of lectures, problem sets, examinations, problem set answer sheets, responding to the questions of students in his course(s), and keeping up with the exploding literature in his field.

9. Be Absorbed in Scholarly Pursuits

Certainly an academic might expect to be involved primarily or almost exclusively in academic pursuits, and a scholar in scholarly pursuits. But this is not necessarily the case for the research science professor in major universities today. As we have already mentioned above, the life of the science professor today is packed with committee meetings, management decisions, personnel problems, intradepartmental and interdepartmental

If a science professor requires "time to think" today, he is more likely to get as far off campus as possible.

 politics, attention to the business aspects of running and maintaining a research program, involvement in the construction planning of new buildings and new laboratories and responding to an ever-increasing and time-consuming set of rules and regulations for experimental safety.

Typical of the growing administrative demands is that of laboratory safety.

We have said enough about most of these concerns already. Typical of the growing administrative demands is that of laboratory safety. No one would advocate unsafe experimental environments or careless attitudes toward safety issues, but few would be prepared for the explosion of safety issues and their demands on time today. Safety seems to be one of those issues that is extremely susceptible to bureaucratization once genuine needs are recognized and institutionalized methods of dealing with them are put into place. It is also true that a growing proportion of scientific research appears to involve greater and greater safety hazards, so that what would properly be handled previously on a local level with a little more than common sense, now demands large financial inputs, elaborate records, defined protocols, and essentially daily attention. Safety Committees, safety courses, and Safety Officers have suddenly appeared on major campuses. All of these require the time of faculty in serving on committees, making sure that recommendations are followed, and overcoming the high hurdles toward research funding sometimes posed by institutionalized conscientious concern for safety.

10. One-on-One Student-Faculty Relationships

Of course faculty members can creatively make available opportunities for one-on-one personal interactions with those graduate students working directly with them. But trends in research are making this harder, as small groups of graduate students doing research under the direction of a particular faculty member are replaced by considerably larger groups of graduate students doing research as part of a group of several faculty members. In the not- too-distant past, published papers seldom carried the names of more than one or two authors, the student and professor's in the case of academic research, but now it is not uncommon to find papers with as many as twenty authors.

Several factors are driving this movement toward research by larger groups. One of them that has been active now for half a century is the growing complexity and expense of much research equipment. When each researcher could afford to build, or buy, and to maintain his own equipment, then he could essentially operate independently if he so chose. But when "ordinary" equipment such as electron microscopes, molecular beam evaporators, and surface analysis systems cost upwards of a million dollars, not to mention the major installations of nuclear research that cost billions of dollars, individuals have to form large teams in order to be able to afford the equipment and its maintenance, and then to put the equipment to enough use to justify its acquisition in the first place.

Research funding by industrial companies is, almost by its very nature, focused on the near-future solution of problems of concern to the company and to the development of prototype products suitable for commercialization.

It is also true that problems are becoming more complex, with aspects that require inputs from a number of the classical scientific disciplines. Research teams in industry have been common for many years, and today we see research teams being much more common in university research.

All of these developments have their advantages, but they also have the definite disadvantage of tending to turn the academic student- professor relationship into something more like that commonly encountered in large corporate or government laboratories. A professor who believes it important to retain dimensions of the one- on-one relationship needs to work at providing the special circumstances that will allow it.


There is no doubt that being on the faculty at a major research university can be an exciting and rewarding activity. Most of those participating on science and engineering faculties would not willingly become involved in any other activity, in spite of the changing tempo and style of academic life. There are unique freedoms of time and effort that are usually not present in a non-academic environment. There are many opportunities for Christian faculty to witness through profession, lifestyle, and personal communication to a group of bright, young people who will play leading roles in tomorrow's society, to their colleagues, and to society in general.

Research teams in industry have been common for many years, and today we see research teams being much more common in university research.

The purpose of this paper, therefore, has not been discourage those who are called by God to be involved in this kind of a career. Rather, it has been to provide insight into how different things may be from what has been ideally taught, and into what may be realistically expected as the characteristics of life on the science or engineering faculty of a major research university.

A second, and very important, purpose is to call those of us in science and engineering to become more aware of the roles we are playing in our professional careers, to reassess them periodically to see if we have the assurance of being in the center of God's will for us, and to help shape developments so that the truly beneficial and important relationships of academic life are preserved in the midst of changing patterns.

There are few greater challenges than for a Christian faculty member to stand gently firm for Christ in the midst of a secular campus. Among colleagues whose academic achievements are an almost impenetrable insulation against the message of the Gospel, he lives daily to be heard and known as a person of integrity and intellectual responsibility, who can be trusted in professional and personal matters, but who calls colleagues and students alike to a higher relationship and a more encompassing good. There are few greater challenges--but there are few greater opportunities.

Richard H. Bube received a Ph.D. degree in Physics from Princeton University. From 1948-1962 he was on the technical staff of the RCA Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey, and since 1962 he has been on the faculty of Stanford University as Professor of Materials Science and Electrical Engineering. From 1975-1986 he served as Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Dr. Bube is the author of books both on photoelectronic materials and devices, and on the interaction between science and Christian faith. From 1969-1983 he served as Editor of the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation. He has been a speaker on science and Christianity on many college and university campuses.