Sheril Kirshenbaum is a marine biologist at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke. She blogs at The Intersection with Chris Mooney.
Thanks Sheril Kirshenbaum for touching this neglected topic of Postdoc Plights, the current academic structure and the way it functions need immediate change otherwise, soon US science might face lot more crisis that what are we are seeing now.STEM EDUCATION
Plight of the Postdoc
Is Modern American Science Strangling Its Young Talents In the Cradle?
Particularly in the biomedical field, this opportunity gap between young and old is a quirk of politics. When NIH funding doubled between 1998 and 2003, many new Ph.D. positions were created, which in turn allowed established investigators with more students to submit better proposals. But then in 2003, NIH funding leveled off.
Older scientists now had a successful history based on the funding boom, and fallout today reveals significantly more scientists over the age of 70 finding support compared to those under the age of 30.Perhaps the situation is best summed up by NIH Director Elias Zerhouni, who wrote in a recent Science magazine Policy Forum article, “Like farmers during difficult times, we should not ‘eat our seed corn,’ but protect it.”