Is academia a ‘depressogenic’ environment?

An Ex-academic follower of fashion

Morning PhD pals and academic allies! This is a post that I’ve had brewing for a liitle while and has been inspired by conversations I have been having with lots of you both on twitter and face to face. It was also prompted , in part, by the recent twitter trend, suggested by @TimesHigherEd, of #HEhorrors. Started as a bit of a Hallowe’en-y joke, #HEhorrors asked academics to tweet ‘the scariest things’ about working in Higher Education.  Mixed in with the funny comments about clueless undergrads and looking too old to be handed a leaflet for a nightclub were some submissions that I found truly ‘scary’: comments on the unrelenting nature of academia, the continuing pressure to publish, and demonstrate impact, and teach, and supervise students, and apply for grants; the expectation that a PhD should be completed within 3 years; zero-hour contracts; the lack of sick pay for students who…

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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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