Nuke the system: response to Hope
If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you know I think that science is currently trapped in a system that assumes mentoring is the best of all possible worlds, which tells us that doing a long postdoc is a privilege, where even while data fraud goes unreported and unpunished, we keep having to reinvent the wheel because what we used to know is quickly forgotten, where publishing is governed by unspoken rules and and fraught with corruption not to mention sexism and hiring is dependent on funding which is also completely misguided and broken not to mention publishing requirements that have never been shown to correlate with future success. There also seems to be a general trend of preference for hiring foreign men over American women.
There are some potential things that could force change. These include crazy things like a nationwide postdoc strike .
And I have made numerous suggestions for how we could reform science, if universities and funding agencies actually wanted to get together and do it.
I have proposed repeatedly that younger scientists should be given more credit and resources for working independently.
I have also proposed repeatedly that it's bad for science that we have too much turnover among young scientists who are forced to leave or shut down their labs. We waste money training scientists who can't put the training to work.
Conversely, there is not enough turnover among the oldest tenured scientists, although I have discussed some creative suggestions for
incentives to regulate turnover of senior scientists because some of us as senior postdocs already have as much experience as the old guys had when they got tenure.
I've talked about the proposals to replace or augment the publishing system by promoting open data exchange.
And yeah, the whole dual-career couple hiring thing is a problem, both for those searching and for those doing the searches. But do I think it's the most important problem? Not even close. Would I feel differently if I were in a dual-career job search? Maybe.
I think you're kidding yourselves. It's like saying sexism is the only thing wrong with science. It's not the only thing, and it's not the worst thing. Do I write about it a lot? Yes. Because I think it's important and under-discussed. Should it be our top priority? No.
I think we have much bigger fish to fry first.