Saturday, February 14, 2009

will blog again eventually.

Am still reluctant to turn off Anonymous commenting, just because some of my regularly positive commenters are still Anon. But will consider it if the haters are bad enough. Suspect, however, that they enjoy this blog, if only as what they consider a trainwreck.

Have had several ideas for blog posts, usually in the shower, but can't think of any right now and have kind of a headache. Really would rather not be getting sick. Will blog again eventually. That is all for now.



At 5:38 PM, Blogger Ambivalent Academic said...

Feel better soon.

At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YFS, I have read your blog for sometime as well. I have some comments. I mean them only in a helpful, benign (non-attacking) manner.

At this present time in your career, you should either be applying to faculty positions NOW, or working on a plan B. Why is this? You are currently in your second post-doc. As you are probably aware, the shelf life of a PhD is somewhat limited. At my alma mater (not super elite, but top 20) most of the faculty hires come from big name schools/labs after a brief post-doc, usually 2-3 years. 4 years is not unheard of, but, after >2 post-docs/>5 years of post-docing, folks will start to think that there is something wrong. Of course, this is somewhat shortsighted and unfair, but, it is what it is. You are correct in that some folks (I have personally seen this) are able to wrestle down a faculty position after 6-10 years of post-docing, but, this is somewhat risky. After 5-6 years of post-docing, your stock will start to decline.

Additionally, the same is true for industry. Industry tends to hire folks after a short post-doc. Also, industry tends to not want people who have it as a plan B. If you post-doc for over 5-6 years, industry will label you as 'too academic'. Again, this is somewhat unfair, but, it is what it is.

There is plenty of good science that goes on industry, and there is no reason to not consider it as a viable career choice. The pay is substantially better, and the hours are better. However, you must realize that industry is there to make a profit. If you research something that is very obscure or will potentially benefit only a very small subset of patients (versus disease areas such as oncology, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, metabolic diseases), you will have a harder time getting into industry. You are correct in that there are some areas that industry will never be interested in because they are simply not profitable. But, if you can bring a skill set into industry that is valued, one can have a great career - if one can deal with these caveats.

Finally, suppose you go for broke and leave science altogether. So what? This does not make you a failure. I had many friends who were absolutely miserable in graduate school, and either left with a MS, or retrained for another career - and are now very happy. There are many ways to make a living that pay better and are substantially less stressful and are just as rewarding as a scientific career.

Academic science is an interesting and intellectually stimulating way to make a living. However, it is a very difficult way to make a living. Please, don't discount or turn up your nose at alternatives, such as industry, teaching at an undergraduate college, or patent law/patent agent. With so many scientists chasing after very few faculty positions and a ever-shrinking pot of money, one does see alot of talented individuals fall to the wayside when going after that elusive faculty position. But, it doesn't mean you can have an stimulating an rewarding life in science, either in it or out of it.

Good luck in your career and with your choices.

At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's see if you post this. I think you don't let people post on your blog cause you are a typical american liberal/academic; you believe in censorship, detest competion or free markets, and have a very narrow and ignorant view of history which leads you to hate white males because you think they are responsible for all that is bad. You probably voted for "change you can believe in," whatever that means.

I have noticed that most academics love censorship. they really feel it's necessary to prevent bad words form being used, or worse, views they are not intellegent enought to argue against.

What's this have to do with science? maybe nothing. but it's people like yourself that make academia such a boring place -
anyway that's why people post offensive things on the blog; cause you wine about the same shit every week; and have been doing it for years.

you should post a picture; for all i know you are really hot and i might want to bang you. uptight girls like yourself are always the most satisfying to sex it up with - I feel like I'm really doing a service when I relieve a girls stress. unfortunatly I've had a tough time finding that kind of work these days. maybe it's my attitude? or my beer belly? or my hygiene? I know it can't be my level of maturity.


At 9:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope I'm one of your fav anons. I try to use my natural sarcasm to blast the dipshit commenters and will keep doing it if you let me. I think it's important to keep their whacked babbly spew on here along with the sane and funny rebuttals - trainwreck, sometimes... but it's so dead-on what happens IRL that it's needed.
My students, colleagues, and former advisors read your blog and refer others. Some have asked me if I am YOU! ummm, no, but close:)
Blogging would be hard for me because dealing with rampant sexism is enough day in, day out, IRL. I'm so disappointed by what I see around me that keeping a blog would be 99% debbydowner.
You take care of you - we'll still be here and we'll be rooting you on. ((YFS))

At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed you use the term "hater." this is the laguage of the uneducated. people use the term "hater" to denote anyone who thinks critically and disagrees with what they are supposed to believe. public schools teach this kind of thinking; and liberals like you love to use censorship I see. Or it may be that people use bad words on your website, and you, being an academic, pretend that you have never heard such language and are above dignifying it with a response. so dumb.

you posted something about street smarts a few days back. well i dropped out of grad school because of my street smarts. after doing well in my coursework, and doing very well early on in my research, I realized what graduate students in america are; indentured servants, cheap labor, etc. there was nothing left me to learn by staying in grad school for 2 or 3 more years except how to be more in tune with academic culture, which i want nothing to do with. so i had the street smarts to get out.

now i wish i would have had the smarts to just go to to pharmacy school instead. counting pills seems dumb to a talented young student, but looks pretty good to a thirty year old with no health insurance.

p.s. for some good entertainment see

that guy is my hero. he's a true genius.

At 7:58 PM, Blogger quietandsmalladventures said...

hope that things go better for you in the commenting way.

weird that my latest post is linked to this one as i didn't link it or even read it until hours after i posted. any ideas?

At 7:22 AM, Anonymous a physicist said...

I will get a blogger account so I can leave comments, if you turn off the anonymous option.

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...


Thanks. It passed.

Anon 5:39,

I never said this was my second post-doc. That's just your assumption.

It's not true that the hours are better in industry.
Ask anyone who works there.

@Anon 7:17,

Wow, I think we must have worked in the same lab together a year or two ago.

@Anon 8:47,

Yes, you are one the reasons I don't want to turn off Anon commenting (turning off Anon 7:17 notwithstanding).

@Anon 5:51,

I didn't realize 'hater' would be interpreted that way. I was thinking of it more in terms of gay-bashers.

re: pharmacy school, it's never too late, is it?

I'm not so into milfs, but maybe that's not all he writes about?


I don't know where that is coming from. I don't (get to?) approve links, only comments. So I think anyone (or any bot?) can add them. Anyway I have found a few good posts that way, so for now I don't mind it.

a physicist,

we shall see. I guess it depends on my mood. Sometimes rubbing salt in the wound is not worth it, but I tend to agree with the people who say it's reflection of reality, so turning it off in order to sanitize the blog (both meanings, yes)... might lead some people to believe that I'm just paranoid and sexism is not real and rampant.

I think the comments illustrate quite well what the breakdown really is.

At 6:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was certainly interesting for me to read that blog. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything connected to this matter. BTW, why don't you change design :).


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