Abstract: The human brain is the only instrument that can examine itself scientifically. Here, I present qualitative data on the age-old problem of ‘what to do?’ derived from self-reflection. Findings include that the world is indeed a giant oyster, and agitators create pearls.
I’m a couple weeks shy of the 3-year PhD mark and I find myself in a position similar to one I was in 10 years ago: finishing high school and wondering what I should do with my life. It was easy then – take (almost) a year off and then reconvene. It’s quite funny how I could literally go anywhere post-PhD. Academia, public service, NGOs, even banking (yes, in a previous life I was a banker).
There are so many perks to doing a PhD in earth sciences (local & international conferences, amazing field trips, fascinating & RELEVANT research, supercool facilities…). And the opportunities are endless (so they say). One thing I’ve found though, is that like most fields, it’s so easy to live inside a bubble – the world revolves around the big names in academia and that’s whom we seek to emulate. It’s about where you’ll do your postdoc and not if you do it, because somehow leaving academia is somewhat of a betrayal. The mentors we have (if any) are from the same side of the story – accomplished academics. Academia, publishing, research is all that is in front of us and our paths seem clear cut and eerily pre-destined. “Of course you have to do a postdoc, how else will the world take you seriously as a scientist?” It feels like trying to get to the horizon – you have to go a little bit further each time. Continue reading “Tinker Tailor Soldier Scientist”