I have had enough exposure to scientific academia (6 years full time, and now 6 years as an industrial PhD supervisor) to have seriously lost faith. Some of the issues well put by Jonathan Katz, a physicist in his article Don’t become a scientist.
Perhaps ‘lost faith’ is too kind. “Fed up with”, is perhaps more precise. Perhaps I just want to whine. The complaints I would add to Dr Katz are the following opinions I have come across:
- The assumption that unless you are a professor at a tedious university, you have no intellect.
- The idea that unless your ideas are published in a the ‘preferred’ peer reviewed journal, they are not worth bothering with.
- The idea that research with some practical use is somehow inferior.
- The idea that anyone deserves to get public money to ponder their theories without a feeling a gratitude and indeed an obligation to pay this kindness back.
Perhaps I am just envious and wish I was a don at Oxford… 😉