PhD problem

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Wed Mar 20 13:32:31 EST 1996

On 20 Mar 1996, Gavin Fischer wrote:

> Suprisingly- the sciences are going through the same hard times as 
> everyone else in the world in most fields are going through. There
> really aren't too many concerns (none that I can think of) that we
> have that other lines of work don't have. Everyone is "downsizing"
> all over the place. Job stability is a relic of the past- why should
> sciences be different? 

> Demanding that we be treated better than they just leads to the rest
> of the world thinking that scientists are spoiled brats. 

Perhaps they 'rest of the world' may not be that wrong 
on this. Not so much that scientists are inherently 
different form other people (normally they are not)
but because they occupy to some extent a perverted 
social niche. Think it this way: other professions
(lawyers, plumbers, Med.doctors, garage mechanics, etc) 
normally don't run for customers - customers come to
them. Why ? Because they have some social/economic
function to offer. 

No so (normally) for scientists. It does not appear
that many want/need their services. Therefore, they 
(scientists) are forced to write all these grant 
applications to various agenices to raise money
for their research, while in a normally functioning
professoin preciecely the opposite should happen.

If scientists (presumably) carry useful social 
function then THEY should be approached by granting 
agencies offering them money to do (presumably
socially needed) research. In short, if scientists 
claim to be useful, research proposals should be 
written BY funding agencies TO the scientists,
not the other way around. When we will see this
happening, 'the rest of the world' may change 
its opinion of us. But not before.   

Alex Berezin

> Gavin Fischer
> BU program in Immunology

More information about the Bioforum mailing list