S L Forsburg
nospamforsburg at salk.edu
Sat Jun 26 14:36:03 EST 1999
(bmartin at utmem.edu) wrote
> I agree with J. that many (not all;
> maybe even < 50%) who choose to leave science are discussed as quitters
> by those remaining. It is part of the human equation
For the record, I have not described those who chose to leave
as quitters, although everyone seems to be accusing me of this.
I know that some professors do, and what I don't understand is who
pays them any attention since they are obviously neanderthals. I am
I must admit tired of the false divisions that come up, as though
I can't feel the pain because I have a position.
I guess I'm One Of Them now, but who was I before
I got here?
It might be nice if you gave those of us in the system who are
trying to improve things some credit for our efforts rather than
all the blame. Sometimes it feels like anyone who posts here who has
a faculty position is just a target for postdocs who want to complain.
Don't forget that it's no harder now than it was 5 or 10 years
ago to get a job or a grant. We've been through it. And I didn't
get my job through divine intervention and I'm no different than
Complaining is fine, but at some point you have to deal with the
way it is now, not kvetch that it isn't different. It's not different.
So how do we (a) fix it and (b) live with it till we do?
> In science, significant more time
> invested and if the initial job tries don't work out, the yound
> scientists is 30-35 yrs old and will have some difficulty starting
The point is that there is no excuse for any
scientist to reach 30-35 without knowing that it will be
tough, and they may not make it into an academic position
--unless they've had their head in a bucket. And whose responsibility
No one forces people to do a PhD and a
postdoc--its a decision you make for yourself. If the
potential rewards are outweighed by the risk in your
mind, then it's up to you to decide not to do it.
Also no scientist at 30-35 has wasted their time--there are many
many options outside of academics. In fact, a lot of the most
cutting edge research is done in companies, because
they can afford the investment. I have friends who have done
everything imaginable with their degrees from company science
to management to writing to law. Have they "wasted" their
training? Hardly--they couldn't be doing what they do
without it. And most of them, I might add, are very
happy to be free of the reationary conservatives who make
up the status quo in the academy.
Do what you do because it's what you want,
not because it fulfills someone else's expectations.
This is your life, after all, to make of what you will.
I started this discussion because of my frustration
over a particular phenotype: women who say "I won't
be able to do what I want so I won't even try".
Note that this is not the same as saying "I don't
want to do this so I'm doing something else."
I'd like to get us to address how much we
program ourselves to be negative and give up what we
want, rather than make positive choices and go after it.
And perhaps we may want to think of making positive suggestions
about what we can change to make things better rather
than endlessly recycling the discussion of how tough it is.
DON'T REPLY to the email address in header.
It's an anti-spam. Use the one below.
S L Forsburg, PhD forsburg at salk.edu
Molecular Biology and Virology Lab
The Salk Institute, La Jolla CA
Women in Biology Internet Launch Page
"These are my opinions. I don't have
time to speak for anyone else."
More information about the Womenbio