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Funding and science careers


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This clearly cannot compete with threads about melons, but for those involved or interested in science careers this is a nice viewpoint regarding funding situations. The interesting thing is that it is almost universally valid.




One of the many nice quotes in the text:


“What a strange business this is: We stay in school forever. We have to battle the system with only a one in eight or one in ten chance of getting funded. We give up making a living until our forties. And we do it because we want to help the world. What kind of crazy person would go for that?”—Nancy Andrews, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Duke University School of Medicine


Edit: shoot. I meant science careers in the title, of course.

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  • 2 weeks later...

While not necessarily related to research funding, my own industry (environmental consulting) is experiencing funding-related issues. Some of our work (thankfully, not more than about 5%) is reimbursed through the California State Fund. The way it works is that 3 cents out of every dollar of fuel gets deposited into the aforementioned Fund, and consultants like myself work to clean up fuel and other chemical spills (all carcinogen-based) utilizing technology and are reimbursed through the Fund. Well, our governor has been having some money management problems and realized there was a large stash of cash in the State Fund; he ended up borrowing the Fund money and sent out IOUs to our industry that we don't have much hope of cashing in, especially when our state is on the verge of bankruptcy.


Now, they're talking about increasing the fuel tax to bring new revenue into the State Fund, but what's to say it's not just going to be a deeper pocket for the government to collect from? Meanwhile, we have to let our projects rest, and the contaminant plumes are free to roam. In an area like Los Angeles, these people are having major health problems, some of which stems from these carcinogens. There's definitely a human price to pay for this irresponsibility, not to mention the toll on the rest of the biota. It's a sad sign of the times.

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