Back after 5 months- and postdocs still have issues.

OK, I’ve taken way too long off this blog. But I am now determined to do this more than ever as a writing/communication exercise. “Nature” did a whole issue (the news section, at least) and part of their web page to the value of a Ph.D and problems with the system of academia the world over. It is a hard system to be a part of. Though I can feel proud to be a Ph.D. at some level, I can’t help but think I’m one of the ones who isn’t “worthy” of it. The big issue is that there are too many Ph.D.’s and postdocs, so we’re clogging the system and may give it a heart attack sometime soon. Although I know I might be smarter than average (I caught a pretty egregious error in the Washington Post crossword today…), but it does seem like the pressure is to be more perfect (this seems to be a pressure in society generally too). Not only do your own specialized research, but network, learn to be an economist, internet guru, expert communicator, master whole new fields in a single bound! That said, my research is going better lately- which is a welcome change. And I’m slightly more optimistic about my future too, which is also good. Let’s hope I continue to feel more positive, despite what seems to be a permanently bleak outlook for a Ph.D.’s the world over. Science is amazing, the business side of it seems to continue to get worse.

Not sure how I did with this post…going to cut myself a slight break since I haven’t posted for a long time and I don’t write nearly enough.

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Author: Ian Street

Ian is a plant scientist and science writer relating stories of plant science and scientists on his blog, The Quiet Branches as well as other outlets. You can find him on Twitter @IHStreet.

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