Monday, April 26, 2010

How today's scientific culture affects young scientists (This is good.)

Here's a very good 3-page essay on how modern scientific policy and culture (e.g. short-term funding, unstable job security, publish-or-perish mindset) is adversely affecting young scientists, causing lots of bright minds to abandon academia in search of other careers (via @WileyScience).

BioEssays: How today's scientific culture affects young scientists

Anyone care to comment?

Abstract: Surviving in academia has become a headache for many young scientists. But not only for them - older researchers too are increasingly preoccupied with the state of science policy and the procedures of scientific evaluation. We here analyze the pressures that prospective scientists like us feel today and compare them to what researchers from the past witnessed. What emerges is that science has undergone a profound cultural change that would have prevented some scholars from the 19th century from making their breakthroughs. While the inner motivation of most scientists at that time was to satisfy their appetite for knowledge, the modern raison d'ĂȘtre of scientists mostly addresses how to provide a living for themselves. Nevertheless, the general awareness of this situation amongst scientists suggests that there is space for an open debate and reform.


  1. That's why I left academia for industry.

  2. And lets not forget that private industry offers a much better opportunity from an income standpoint. It is hard to justify the shackles academia is putting on scientists to day when the private sector offers unlimited budgets in many cases.


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Getting Genetics Done by Stephen Turner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.