A LITTLE LIFE!!!

MARLA at CHEMF.RUTGERS.EDU MARLA at CHEMF.RUTGERS.EDU
Mon Feb 11 16:15:00 EST 1991


	What started as a call to ACTION from a passive community
has degenerated into a FLAME war on the genome "boondoggle". Instead
of trying to stop the fire, how about faning it?
	Let's face it, the rub is too little money, so good grants are
getting turned down in some reasearch areas, while less qualified
grants put into a 'privileged' project such, as the human genome
project get funded.
	I can only say that if the overall view of academia is it's the only
place to do "real science" with no other function, the students of the
country are in real trouble. Teaching should not be a "hassle", teaching
should be a way of passing on the torch, getting new people into the
field, passing on some of the time and energy that was invested in "you"
by some academician that "brainwashed" you into feel that being
an academic is something worthwhile. (Sorry for a personel jab, but
I haven't seen anyone mention the other functions of an academician)
	If all you want is "real science", industry can (but not necessarily)
fill that desire. Yes, some companies (an ever increasing number unfortunately)
treat their PhD's, who have gone through "years as an indentured servant"
like "well paid"(?) indentured servants. There are still some places where
(with a little justification) one can do "real science"; and better than in
"hassle" filled academia. At the government lab and commercial lab I worked
at, the technical assistance and equipment were far better than I have
ever experienced in an academic environment. Internal collaborations
were also exceptionally good.
	I started this whole thing to say that 'really good people are
dropping out or never going into the field in the first place'. Too often
(from experience) those that don't continue are exactly the type of
people that are needed in the field. People with idealism, who get tired
of the politics that shouldn't exist but does (human nature). People
who may not "set the world on fire" with their research but can really
teach well and inspire student to also go into the profession. People
who want to work on an obscure problem, not planning to get into the
history books, but wanting to understand what they're working on better
than anyone has before them. Too often schools look at how much money is
being brought in by someone, not wether they can teach or do the reasearch
themselves. The person bringing in the money, too often
becomes so isolated from "real science" that they become worse paper
pushers than anyone running a database. So let's stop throwing arrows
back an forth. There are advantages and disadvantages to anyplace one
works, but without new blood coming into the field (in spite of the
over-abundance being suggested) what will the future bring?
	I'm still calling for action. How can we as a community help
each other? How can we help the student find a job or post-doc?
How can we help the post-doc find a faculty or industry position?
How can we help the catagory of 'those requiring green cards' stay
in this country in the area's they know the best? The system is
whatever it is, what can we do within the system to make it better?
We could work at changing the attitudes that the only "real science"
is in academia. Or that creating good "tools" or "methods" isn't "real
science"? Someone trying to "see the forest for the trees" is doing
"real science" they're often called theoreticians.
	If nothing else, I've seen a few new names getting on the BBoard
so this exercise hasn't been completely futile. I just hope that
in the future when a contraversy begins, if the sparks fly, let it
ignites and burn. This is suppose to be a place to give ones views, weather
everyone one likes them or not. Suggesting that they not be written will
only kill the BBoard in the long run. If someone writes something,
they may get flack, but they should never be discouraged from getting
involved or they just may not bother in the future.
			No insults Please.



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