Career Stuff

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Career Stuff

I’ve written before about the problem of the Ph.D. glut, so I was pleasantly surprised (shocked, actually) to read several articles in a recent edition of Nature hitting the same themes. For those who don’t think there’s a Ph.D. glut, here are some data for you: Post-doc numbers shouldn’t be increasing, unless there’s a glut.…

Clearly, I’m suffering from instructor error here, but I’ll try it one more time. Back in my parents’ day, mothers told daughters, “Learn how to type.” Because one never knew if you might have to go it alone, and accurate, rapid typing, at the time, was a genuinely employable skill in demand. Remember is that…

So my post about why biomedical scientists suffer more than others in STEM fields seems to have received some attention. ScienceBlogling Chad Orzel writes: That’s true, but here’s the thing: it’s not unique to biomedical science. The same problem afflicts physics– every time I post something about wanting to attract more students into physics, I’m…

Science Professor makes what I think is an entirely accurate assessment of the misery of many in the biomed academic world (emphasis original): However, much of what I have learned, although fascinating, has been second-order compared to this: People in the biomedical sciences seem to suffer a lot more than those of us in just…

A Sustainable Research Model

There’s been a lot of interesting discussion about the poor job prospects of post-docs, much of which was sparked by this Nature News column by Jennifer Rohn. I responded with the idea that we need more research centers (although if what you want to do is teach, you should continue in academia). But what I…

Jennifer Rohn describes a dirty secret of academia: The career structure for scientific research in universities is broken, particularly in the life sciences, my own overcrowded field. In coffee rooms across the world, postdocs commiserate with each other amid rising anxiety about biology’s dirty little secret: dwindling opportunity. Fellowships are few, every advertised academic post…

Science, Gender, and ‘Cleaning Up the Mess’

There’s a very interesting Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences article, “Understanding current causes of women’s underrepresentation in science” that’s available to the public. Andrew Moseman summarizes it quite well: …Ceci and Williams say, external and social factors–some matters of choice, some not–are the major ones hindering women in science today. Those factors include…

…getting an abortion. Because that seems to be the message from the presidents of the third-year class of the UC Davis veterinary school–with the apparent approval of the Chair of the Department of Medicine & Epidemiology. By way of ScienceBlogling Dr. Isis, the enlightened solons: Dear Colleagues, One of our classmates recently gave birth and…

Is Science a Job or a Calling?

You might have, by now, seen that obnoxious article by Scott Kern bemoaning the sorry state of the cancer research facility at which he works. Apparently, the building is nearly empty on weekends, so people aren’t working hard enough, and thereby killing cancer patients. Rebecca sums up the tone of the article: There have been…

By way of Seeing the Forest, we note that at Miller-McCune, Beryl Lieff Benderly has a must-read story about the supposed shortage of scientists in the U.S. A while ago, I described the supposed shortage of scientists as a problem of incentives: As long as financial ‘engineering’ is more lucrative than actual engineering (and other…