Why did you leave/are considering leaving academia?

posted
05-Aug-17, 21:45
Avatar for cloudofash
posted about 1 month ago
Quote From pm133:
Quote From cloudofash:


I agree. I often wonder how is it justifiable that we are researching first world illnesses but milions of people are dying because they have no access to clean water.


That is a good example but in fairness the problem you are describing is not down to a shortage of money. It is down to corruption in the affected countries. No amount of money will fix it without fundamental structural reform.

Well yeah, but I meant is more like why am I here working on this when I should be working on that instead.
posted
05-Aug-17, 23:25
Avatar for Hanginthere
posted about 1 month ago
Quote From pm133:
Quote From cloudofash:


I agree. I often wonder how is it justifiable that we are researching first world illnesses but milions of people are dying because they have no access to clean water.


That is a good example but in fairness the problem you are describing is not down to a shortage of money. It is down to corruption in the affected countries. No amount of money will fix it without fundamental structural reform.


Generalising does not really answer the question (indirectly) posed by cloudfash.Corruption might be a contributory factor in one country, but definitely not the case in all the countries that lack clean water. My research explores fisheries crimes, most of which is perpetrated by fishing vessels from developed countries in Europe. Millions of dollars lost to this crime and local fisher folks left food and economically insecure. So there, I don't think generalisation helps in this sort of scenario(s).
posted
06-Aug-17, 10:40
edited about 14 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 1 month ago
Quote From helebon:


Supervisors who bully are they more likely to respect those (PhD students etc) that have had human rights training? and the supervisor is aware they have had this training.


This isn't going to make the slightest bit of difference. Bullys don't sit there and ponder the consequences. They either know it's wrong but can't stop themselves or are too arrogant to know what they are doing is wrong. It seems to be the latter in academia.
posted
06-Aug-17, 12:11
by helebon
Avatar for helebon
posted about 1 month ago
I did a search on this forum about bullying in academia and it has come up several times. If I do go on and study more I will take my time searching for a suitable supervisor.
posted
08-Aug-17, 23:04
edited about 25 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 month ago
Quote From Pjlu:
[quote] I would like to think-I hope- that most of us, more of us have these same values and ideals behind our work. I guess that is why it cuts so deeply when we learn about plagiarism, falsified results, and finally understand that luck and playing the political games can sometimes (not always) be behind success in academia-more so than merit on occasions.


Yes, I agree - I think it is a shock to many people. I remember being pretty disheartened the first time I heard of a scandal of this sort in academia. The thing is though - I guess those in the church and other such large organisations (but particularly "the church" - sorry I am not anti religious - it is just an example) would also say that they of all people have good morals and real values when they enter their institutions. And we all know what sorts of things have gone on in such institutions - the very opposite to what is good and caring in many cases - and on a large scale, known by many, and not reported or known (until recently).

I wonder if academia isn't headed the same way... not child sex abuse scandals but falsification of results and the other things you mentioned above (sorry if anyone finds this comparison offensive - I am comparing institutions and their dark secrets rather than the actual scandals/atrocities or their effects).

OK, so maybe in academia terribly dodgy things are happening here and there rather than being the norm - but who knows? Who is accountable and to whom? No one and no one!

Sorry to be depressing!
posted
08-Aug-17, 23:15
edited about 15 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 month ago
Quote From pm133:

It would absolutely be a mistake to consider hard sciences and technology as reliable. Both worlds are crammed full of people doing utterly useless research with no credible pretence at even aiming at practical usage. Here is a very simple and obvious example. If academic science is so convinced of its worth, why does it insist on producing indecipherable papers written in deliberately archaic language and locking them away behind pay walls? Who are they writing these articles for? It certainly isn't the general public who are paying for all this nonsense.

The first sentence of your second paragraph is the core of the pack of lies which academic science spouts in order to justify its existence and secure funding. Almost nobody is involved in uncovering "truths" or producing any benefits whatsoever to society.

I understand that we need people doing genuinely out of the box stuff but right now, in the depths of our economic problems, academic science has a duty in my opinion to step up and start using scarce public money to start producing more useful outputs that could realistically help society. In short, science needs to get its finger out and start doing something to justify its vast budget.


Haha! So other people think this too! I sometimes think that academia is a classic case of the emporor having no clothes on!

Having said that though, I also do acknowledge that the pursuit of science has achieved many excellent things as well. And going back to the original post on this thread - maybe for some of us, the good outweighs the bad, and so we will choose to stay in academia.

I am undecided at present. I enjoy what I do right now and would have to find something else I enjoyed equally well or more before I seriously considered leaving. However, if my motivation was money or prestige or something else, I would most certainly have left academia by now.
posted
09-Aug-17, 11:57
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 1 month ago
Quote From helebon:
I did a search on this forum about bullying in academia and it has come up several times. If I do go on and study more I will take my time searching for a suitable supervisor.


That's not easy to do though. I know many undergraduate who have chosen to work with one particular supervisor who seems so nice when he is their lecturer or tutor. Boy do they get a shock when they choose him for a PhD supervisor!

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