PhD & careers

Joe Teodoro teodoro at MEDCOR.MCGILL.CA
Sat Sep 16 03:38:56 EST 1995

[Stuff deleted]
>You have it upside down.
>If the need is so high why there are not 200 job
>offers per one PhD ? (200 is the average number of
>applications we are to handle now for a single
>faculty opening).

Welcome to the real world Alex.  It's finally caught up to academia too.
Do you think that openings for high profile positions in other proffessions
or in the bussiness world have significantly fewer applicants per position?

>> They are merely the minimal requirements
>> for a career in research.
>Check with Bill Gates if he agrees with this

As much as I respect Mr. Gates and admire his achievments, buying a
computer operating system and tweaking it's performance before selling it
to IBM hardly qualifys as academic research.  Mr Gates's talents, perhaps
like many frustrated young post-docs and investigators, was better suited
>You are highly optimistic about breakthroughs.
>In fact, discovery rate is much lower now (per
>person) than it ever was. About 10,000 physicists
>are still figuring out [ unsuccessfully, so far ]
>a single effect [ nature of high temperature
>superconductivity ]. Circa HALF A TRILLION dollars
>and some 50,000 LIFE TIME careers were spend for
>the last 40-50 years on thremal nucler fussion.
>Where it is ? (most activity on this is now
>wrapping up).
Although this is an entirely different issue from the initial thread, I
believe that many, myself included, would dissagree with your statements.
There have never been so many journals publishing high quality science as
there are today.  It often seems that many researchers take high quality
science for granted and believe that nothing significant ever occurs.  I
suppose such statistics would depend on how one defines a "breakthrough".
I find the task of keeping up with the flood of reports in my field very
difficult and at times even impossible.

>(Molecular biology: where is cure for cancer, AIDS,
>Alzymer [sic],  .................................) ?
In defence of molecular biology, the biololical basis for many forms of
these disorders have become known.  We know exactly whats wrong in many
cases right down to the exact mutated gene and specific DNA base pair
mutated.  Although the underlying molecular basis for these disorders are
understood, the problem now shifts to how it can be repaired.  This problem
has evolved the field of gene therapy which is a frenzy at the moment and
recieves much more press than results.  The apparent failure of glamourous
and high profile scientific problems (gene therapy, high temp.
superconductivity, fusion etc...) often cloud the advances in other areas.

>>As for Alexander's colourful prostitute anology I can guarantee that your
>>>>supervisor will not " throw you out". ... (etc)

>Great, Joe ! I just wonder how YOU can GUARANTEE
>the above ? If you can, just open an insurance
>office on this sole issue and move IMMIDEATELY to
>the prime downtown office.
>> If your Ph.D. was a success
>> you will emerge a highly skilled and valuble
>> individual who could from there proceed to a
>> new lab as a post-doctoral fellow and begin
>> a productive research program almost instantly
>> upon arriving.
>Very sounding ! Put on the first page of your
>advertisement flier.

Thanks anyway Alex, unlike some, I'm quite happy with my chosen profession.

Joe Teodoro    teodoro at
Department of Biochemistry
McGill University
Montreal, Quebec

More information about the Bioforum mailing list