Santesson – Reformpolitikens strategier (Atlantis, 2012)

Alldeles utmärkt – beskriver bra förutsättningarna för politisk reformverksamhet.” Lars Tobisson, moderat nestor

Jätterolig läsning … Riktigt intressant … Boken flyttar fram kopplingen mellan statsvetenskapens resultat och det politiskt användbara.” Ursula Berge, Samhällspolitisk chef, Akademikerförbundet SSR

Pressröster om boken
Dagens Industri
Svenska Dagbladet
Svensk Tidskrift

utgående

The end comes when we no longer talk with ourselves. It is the end of genuine thinking and the beginning of the final loneliness. The remarkable thing is that the cessation of the inner dialogue marks also the end of our concern with the world around us. It is as if we noted the world and think about it only when we have to report it to ourselves.

Eric Hoffer 

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Varför vill någon bli forskare?

Don’t become a scientist! varnar fysikprofessor Jonathan I. Katz på sin hemsida år 1999 [via Academic Productivity här och här]. Själv har han tenure och ingen större anledning att klaga skulle man förmoda, men ändå avråder han från forskarbanan.

Leave graduate school to people from India and China, for whom the prospects at home are even worse. I have known more people whose lives have been ruined by getting a Ph.D. in physics than by drugs.

De skäl Katz anför kokar ned till en överproduktion av amerikanska Ph.D:s med fallande forskarlöner och sunkiga villkor som följd. Inte blir det bättre om man mot förmodan är framgångsrik i den mördande konkurrensen om fasta anställningar.

Suppose you do eventually obtain a permanent job, perhaps a tenured professorship. The struggle for a job is now replaced by a struggle for grant support, and again there is a glut of scientists. Now you spend your time writing proposals rather than doing research. Worse, because your proposals are judged by your competitors you cannot follow your curiosity, but must spend your effort and talents on anticipating and deflecting criticism rather than on solving the important scientific problems.

Och på Hacker News beskrivs det intellektuellt stimulerande institutionslivet på följande sätt:

Most of the people working there were like people working at any big, lame bureaucratic institution, only they had or were obtaining PhDs. Most of their time was spent surfing the web, sending email, and attending meetings. I have never worked anywhere else where people attended so many meetings. …  I’m familiar with the horror stories about post-docs working 100 hours a week, but if other programs are similar to the one I worked for, 40 of those hours are spent in meetings, 20 hours are spent wasting time on the internet, 10 hours are typical office chatting, 15 hours of going to classes and lectures, and then maybe 15 hours of actual work… but I’m skeptical that anyone spent 15 additional hours doing work. Normally everything was queued up until the very last moment, then people would spend a couple feverish days slapping something together before a presentation. 

Jag har nog aldrig stött på någon forskare som verkligen ångrat att de läste vidare efter grundutbildningen. (Måhända en survivorship bias. De som ångrade sig finns förstås inte kvar i miljön.) Men skulle någon råda sina barn att satsa på forskarbanan idag?

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