The trouble with academia…

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:

  1. The assumption that unless you are a professor at a tedious university, you have no intellect.
  2. The idea that unless your ideas are published in a the ‘preferred’ peer reviewed journal, they are not worth bothering with.
  3. The idea that research with some practical use is somehow inferior.
  4. 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… 😉

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