Number of scientists

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Tue Aug 24 1999 - 19:39:03 EDT

Robert Herzog wrote (using a CERN account, no less):
>All the mathematicians, scientists and engineers (surely more
>than 10 million) want ...

...hunting a bit on I came across a figure of 368,000
students taking introductory physics classes each year in the US.
Apparently this figure has been stable for some time. Very few college
level engineers and scientists escape the requirement for an introductory
physics class, so this would be a good first order approximation of the
number of new engineers and scientists/year.

Europe and Asia taken together probably produce at least as many scientists
and engineers as the US, if not more, by now, so a round estimate of 1m a
year world-wide seems not too far off. Ten year's worth of graduates would
make 10 million. Accounting for the engineers and scientists who have been
in the field longer than that, and those who have moved on to other
persuits would leave an estimate of anywhere from 15 to 30 million world wide.

This is a significant user population, albeit not a localized one, and
explains why Unicode is actively working with representatives from
mathematics publishers to extend, complete, and occasionally (editorially)
correct the reperoire of symbols. We have not yet found good input from
other technical disciplines, but we are open for input. If anybody would
like to suggest extensions for a particular field, I volunteer to act as
point of contact.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:51 EDT