A close friend of mine—I promised not to use his name, so let's call him Fisher—has a secret. It is a secret I also held when I was a graduate student. It's likely that it is also kept by many of the science Ph.D. candidates you know. If you promise not to tell Fisher's Ph.D. adviser (or mine), I'll let you in on this well-hidden truth: Fisher isn't planning to pursue an academic career. Actually, it's an open secret. Fisher's Ph.D. adviser already knows. Fisher knows his Ph.D. adviser knows. But—and here's the thing—there is absolutely no way they're ever going to talk about his career plans. (Keep reading at Science.)

Top image credit: Robert Neubecker

Lina Nilsson is a 2013 MIT Technology Review innovator under 35 and the innovation director at the University of California, Berkeley, Blum Center for Developing Economies.

10.1126/science.caredit.a1400201