Nathan Ley says his "enthusiasm for a career in science is slowly ebbing away." In a blog post for the Guardian, the grad student says that trying to get accepted somewhere to pursue a PhD has taken a toll on his motivation to do research. Since he applied for a place in a PhD program, Ley says he has gotten nothing but rejection after rejection — and since the same thing is also happening to his friends and acquaintances, Ley says "something is, most definitely, up. Something has changed in the maze of funding systems to make it harder for your averagely bright student to gain admission for a PhD." Cutbacks in science funding definitely have something to do with it — less funding means fewer opportunities for young scientists. There is also an increased demand for places in PhD programs, Ley adds. "I do not want to resort to hyperbole, but it feels like a whole generation of would-be scientists is being snubbed. Is it really too much, in the context of bankers' bonuses, to ask for the measly sum needed to keep talented and motivated future scientists fed, housed and pursuing their chosen career?" he asks. In the end, there's only so much effort a young scientist is willing to go through before slipping away from research to find work in other industries.
Fine, Be That Way
Mar 21, 2011