On the subject of cultivating leadership in scientists, the following showed up in my mailbox recently:
The NPA is pleased to announce the Postdoc Leadership Mentoring Project, sponsored by the NPA and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. This innovative program seeks to connect experienced leaders in the postdoctoral community with individuals and institutions interested in establishing postdoc offices and/or associations at their home institutions. Experienced leaders will serve as mentors to those forming new organizations or working to revive past organizations.
At the Annual Meeting [March 30-April 1], recipients of the awards will participate in a special session on establishing postdoc offices and/or associations and will connect with their mentors or mentees face-to-face. Following the meeting, mentors and mentees will continue to strengthen their relationship through participation in monthly teleconferences. Finally, some award recipients may be eligible for site visits to their research institutions by a team of experts to further the growth of their new postdoc organizations.
I think this kind of thing can potentially have a big impact on the quality of the training scientists receive.
Notice who initiated it: postdocs, not senior scientists. That's good and bad: good in that postdocs are taking the initiative (showing leadership in the process), but bad in that they have had to do so.
Kudos to the National Postdoc Association.
You can find out more here