Do I feel lucky?

Sep 01 2011 Published by under Careers, Life

It's not been a good year for trainees aspiring to academic careers. They've been Pooed (gross!), St. Kerned, St. Noonaned, and now St. Quiñones-Hinojosaed (St. QHed?). Oy.

As pointed out by DM, the success at all costs approach has, well, costs. It's not worth it. Nor is it necessary. Succeeding with a balanced approach might require a modicum of luck, but let's face it, oft times you make your own luck. Times are hard in academic science and don't look like they will improve in the foreseeable future. We're all having to work hard to survive. Perhaps we're on the verge of a "great science cull". Nonetheless, some will succeed. But they won't necessarily do so by working even harder. They will survive by working smarter and being "lucky".

You have to ask yourself, "Do I feel lucky?"

Well, do ya, punk?

7 responses so far

  • drugmonkey says:

    When you put them together like that it *does* rather look like a discouraging environment. Huh. Last gasp flurry before worker protections finally come to this white-collar industry?

    • odyssey says:

      If the Rethuglicans have their way there won't be worker protections for anyone...

      Perhaps we're on heading into a major rearrangement of how academic science is done. Who knows?

      • becca says:

        yeah. I strongly suspect this attitude is reasserting itself everywhere because of the "tough economy" and by "tough economy" I mean "record high revenues/profits (yes, even in the nonprofit higher ed sector record high tuition is generally record high revenue)" yet "no increase (or decrease) in the quality of life for the average worker"

        I suspect it will get worse before it gets better. Sometime around when somebody notices the depression/suicide connection.

  • The Nature article on QH is all good and well until one of his trainees decides to say fuck it and down a bottle of DrainO or go bunjee jumping from a tree with a rope around his damn neck. Then Nature will publish another article linking to the warning signs they saw when they first visited his lab to collect information for this article.

    Sad man, life does exist out of the lab. And based upon all the crazy hard work, his "wet" lab isn't providing the bulk of his papers, its his case reports.

  • NatC says:

    Why is Nature glorifying this kind of brutal work ethic? Why don't we ever see a Nature piece on labs that do not have insane standards?
    At least give us some stats on how many post-docs from these labs leave science, leave the lab, are stuck for many many years because they work 24/7 and don't get lucky enough for data to publish in a GlamMag, versus those who go on to productive careers in science!

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Why is *Nature* glorifying this shit? Is this really so mysterious?