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Stress and Bullying

A new survey has found a high level of stress among scientists, which many attribute to an atmosphere of pressure and bullying, the Guardian reports

The survey, which was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust, surveyed more than 4,000 scientists, held four workshops, and interviewed 94 individual researchers to put together a picture of the current research culture. The survey found that a majority, 55 percent, of those surveyed had a negative view of the research culture, that 42 percent of respondents agreed that there was unhealthy competition in their working environment, and that 75 percent thought creativity was being stifled. Overall, 70 percent said they felt stressed on any given day.

At the same time, the survey found 61 percent of respondents witnessed bullying or harassment and 43 percent experienced it. Further, about a third of respondents thought that managers or leaders "turned a blind eye" to that behavior.

"In order to thrive, we need inclusiveness, the feeling of belonging, an engaging working environment, and support," Katerina Kademoglou, a postdoc at Masaryk University who left Britain due to Brexit, tells the Guardian.

The Wellcome Trust plans to hold a series of town halls to discuss these issues and potential solutions, it adds.