Harsh Remarks

A blogger discusses some of the potentially career-harming insults scientists' direct toward one another.

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No, really?

No, really?

I was my mentor's first grad

I was my mentor's first grad student, and I became a science writer. Was he a failure? I think not. He taught me how to continue learning, a priceless gift.

Sadly, the academic model

Sadly, the academic model does reflect this reality. While a grad student, I expanded my horizons beyond pure academic research by helping the state health labs deal with emerging ethical issues around pre-symptomatic screening for genetic disease. Right about the same time, the AIDS epidemic hit - same issues regarding screening, but now it was not a genetic disease. My work with the state health labs felt very important to me, but when a tenured, very well-known professor almost flat-out told me that this "extracurricular" activity was not a boon to my career, he added - "unless your goal is to become a [school name omitted] professor, you are wasting your slot here." I was bold enough to do the math right there in response and then ask him if he was willing to give up his job in order to achieve the goal he just articulated. Never heard another word out of that professor, but probably didn't help my academic career much either. Anyway, 20+ years later, I'm very happy with the "bilingual" place I've earned having had academic and industrial positions that are very rewarding.