ANOTHER great report from NPR titled “Too Few University Job’s for America’s Young Scientists”. If you haven’t been keeping up (previous post, previous post), NPR has been crushing it lately by reporting on the struggles and bleak outlook for scientific research in this nation. In their newest segment, they highlight the difficulties facing young researchers who are aspiring to pursue careers in science. From the source:
The entire system is built around the false idea that all these scientists-in-training are headed to university professorships.
“That’s obviously unsustainable,” says Keith Micoli, who heads the postdoc program at the NYU Medical Center. “You can’t have one manager training 10 subordinates who think they are all going to take over that boss’ position someday. That’s mathematically impossible.”
“But we’ve grown so dependent on this relatively cheap, seemingly inexhaustible supply of young scientists who do great work,” Micoli says.
Even the lucky few who do land academic jobs find it increasingly difficult to get federal funding to run a lab. There’s simply not enough money to go around, given the number of scientists working in academia today.
These issues are unfortunately perpetually circulating in the minds of current “scientists-in-training.” There are too many PhDs, postdocs are overworked and underpaid, and the jobs that we are all striving for don’t exist. The economic crisis has been tough for all, but it’s difficult watching noble causes like scientific research and exploration suffer as a result. Thank you NPR for exposing these issues!