Australian scientists are experiencing a drop in morale and many expect to leave the field, the Guardian reports.
A survey of 1,275 scientists conducted by Science & Technology Australia and Professional Scientists Australia, groups that represent scientists and technologists in Australia, found that the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on the field. In particular, more than 62 percent of respondents said staff morale had decreased at their organization over the previous 12 months, while in last year's survey only about 46 percent of respondents said morale had declined. Additionally, about 70 percent of respondents said worker fatigue had increased and about 20 percent of respondents said they were considering leaving the field permanently.
In a statement, Jill McCabe, the CEO of Professional Scientists Australia, says the findings are worrying. "Over the last 18 months as we've battled through the pandemic, we've relied on our scientific community more than ever before," she says.
Katie Havelberg, the president of the group, adds that it is "absolutely critical that we as a society acknowledge that incredible contribution and sacrifice by making sure Australia's scientists are looked after in return."