Mentors' obligations also include providing their postdocs practical counsel and aid in moving to their next post, as well as all needed facilities and supplies. And mentors should never add "surprise" responsibilities, a practice that is simply "not fair," Cech said.
" Narod has spent 2 decades simultaneously "at the vanguard of a brand-new science" and at the helm of a corporation lucrative enough to support overseas mountaineering trips and a handsome home in an upscale neighborhood."
[F]or all the stump-speech hyperbole, a single, remorseless reality must govern the next president's actions, no matter who he is. The huge budget deficit, the war in Iraq, and the war on terrorism will combine to squeeze federal scientific agencies not directly involved in defense, homeland security, or several earmarked projects. Competing for scarce funds with a myriad of other money-strapped domestic agencies, the civilian science agencies face the likelihood of budget cuts, some quite substantial.
Correcting the problems and inequities that bedevil postdocs will require changing the culture of labs and universities across the country, and the National Science Foundation can and should take steps to catalyze reform.
The glue holding together the two parts of the increasingly creaky systemand the rationale for thousands of men and women with a decade or more of university study to accept salaries that according to the Sigma Xi data average $38,000 ($7000 less than the average earnings of a similarly aged college graduate)is the widespread but usually futile hope of becoming an independent university researcher.
"Nowadays," she continued, "people have much more freedom in their personal lives and professional choices than they did when they were sold to an apprenticeship in the old days, and yet, at the same time, they're buying into this almost feudal system in which once you dedicate a certain number of years, you are bound by the amount of time you've spent." --Allegra Goodman
Jones believes that senior scientists have "lost a sense of accountability to the next generation insofar as all of our interests in them are self interests ... so that our career can get advanced but not necessarily their career."
"If, in the course of the day, faculty spend some time talking about their career and careers in general, it wouldn’t be something they would have to keep a note of in a logbook and say, ‘Oh, this isn’t research-related.’ ”--Joseph Ellis
"Substantially more scientists and engineers graduate from U.S. universities than can find attractive career openings in the U.S. workforce, [and] the postdoc population, which has grown very rapidly in U.S. universities and is recruited increasingly from abroad, looks more like a pool of low-cost research lab workers with limited career prospects than a high-quality training program for soon-to-be academic researchers." --Michael Teitelbaum