“In 1973, more than half of biologists had a tenure-track job within six years of getting a Ph.D. By 2006 the figure was down to 15 percent.”
If this was due to more highly trained people voluntarily moving into applied fields, then that’s a good thing. But it may also be that there’s a drastic overproduction of potential academics in order to satisfy the need for cheap grad student / postdoc labor.
This leads to lot of competition, and evidently lots of cheating. The NYT article notes that the amount of paper retractions (where errors get caught after publication) has greatly increased.