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Making science a desirable career

Career Options

Credit: Robert Neubecker

Most scientists (ourselves included) headed off to graduate school eager to discover new things, test crazy ideas, and hopefully change the world, or at least explain a piece of it. Sadly, these days such aspirations are overshadowed by fierce competition for papers, grants, and the tenured positions trainees need to build independent careers in academic research. Even those who have attained one of those rare, coveted professorships are under intense strain: A preoccupation with funding and other career-related metrics crowds out real discovery among aspiring and established scientists alike. The result: Science has become a less desirable career. We can fix the problem, but only if we're willing to make fundamental changes to how academic science is structured and funded. (Keep reading at Science.)