I’ve been thinking a lot lately about science, what it is and how it’s practiced and whether I am a good fit for it or not. I feel like this generation of postdocs and grad students are in a tough situation where jobs in academia are hard to come by in a system that’s saturated and jobs outside the academy don’t immediately appeal to academics who’ve been wanting to do science since they were kids (at least that’s the case with me). Most of the news I’ve seen about these topics is depressing, so it’s hard to feel optimistic about the future which makes it harder to be motivated in the present. I’m slowly learning to broaden my perspective about my career, but it hasn’t come easily. I still love science and by many measures, it’s a great time for science, but it seems like it’s harder and harder to be a scientist.
OK, so I’ve neglected my blog…cardinal rule 1 of blogging I hear is to keep posting consistently/changing content/keeping it interesting..let’s see if I can make a habit of that.
My last post was how I’m feeling about science as an industry in 2010 and the thoughts about it still cause me a great deal of stress. I have made some slow progress in my actual research after dealing with a setback of an insect infestation where we as a department had to throw out a lot of plants….but some progress, some good experiments designed at least, hopefully I can carry them out soon. So I guess I’m forging ahead despite the seemingly grim realities. I know a few experiments that are to come, but still have no idea about my longer future.
Here’s a short “This I believe” essay by Anthony Fauci (it has a lot of the reasons I like science in it), one of those “rock star” scientists- I find what he wrote interesting..especially that part about striving for excellence and having constant low grade anxiety (to be sure, mine seems ratcheted up more than his):
OK, signing off from postdoc street. Til next time.
My intention for this blog is as an experiment to document my experiences as a postdoc as well as some commentary on what it’s like being a scientist in 2010. I’m hoping to have some fun with this as well as use it as an exercise in writing. So without further ado, I declare Postdoc St. open to traffic.