Science for Progress

because science is fundamental in the 21st century

19 Insecurity and Uncertainties for Early Career Academics – with Maria Pinto

Academics are Spoiled. Right?

The stereotype of academics is that they live a well protected life in the ivory tower. But this is not the case for most of them. Maria Pinto from Portugal is a PhD student in marine microbiology in Austria. With the final stages of her work approaching, Maria is beginning to think about the future.

Forgoing Salaries, Benefits, and Life Planning Security in your Late 20s to 40s.

We talk about the many uncertainties in academia, particularly for early career researchers. In general the salaries are not good, but in poorer countries, where the salaries are particularly low and may not even include social security, there is also an expectation of students to pay field work trips themselves. In general, traveling in order to present your work at conferences is important to researchers and their careers, but for many, this is not affordable.

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about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

17 From PhD to SciComm via BookTube – with Deboki Chakravarti

Science Communication is one way academics can apply themselves outside of academia. But how does one transition between careers? I talked with Dr. Deboki Chakravarti, a biomedical engineer who worked on cancer treatments. She graduated in 2018 and then did an internship with Scientific American, a leading brand in Science Communication in the USA.

First we learn a little bit about her scientific work, and her personal experiences in graduate school. Already during graduate school she began a YouTube channel about books and life as a graduate student. She then shares why she decided to leave academia, and she explains how she managed to find an internship with Scientific American. And finally, she explains what the internship looks like.

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about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

#7: Funding Adviser: career at the Interface of Science – with Cristina Oliveira

Most academics won’t stay in academia… or let’s say, not every PhD will land a permanent position as a researcher. With the increasing numbers of PhDs this situation is becoming more serious. In this context, we want to interview people who work in so called ‘alternative careers’. Some of these careers are still related to academia. We hope these interviews will be of interest to people in general, since they may learn something more about how academia works. For PhDs who may not stay researchers, it should be interesting to know what kinds of careers they can have beyond the ivory tower.

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about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

#5: Mental Health during your PhD – with Lauriane Nallet

Working on your PhD is a stressful phase, and the academic culture isn’t making it better. In this episode I talk to Lauriane Nallet, who is a PhD student in Switzerland. She has a personal history with depression and even PTSD. Lauriane shares what she learned at a workshop on mental health issues in grad school, and also her own experience with mental health issues: symptoms to look out for, how she found help, and what therapy could do for her. We also talk about some aspects of academia that contribute to the stress, including high expectations for work load and ‘passion’, and the ‘publish or perish’ culture.

Visit Lauriane’s blog!

clarifying comment

We mention an article claiming a 6x increased prevalence of depression in graduate students. The article is being criticized for methodological confines. However, another study which was conducted using methods with fewer confines, still finds a 2.8x higher prevalence for depression in PhD students when compared to highly educated workers.

about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

#4: Founding Science for Progress, and the representation of science in public – with Dennis Eckmeier

Guest Host: Hugo Bettencourt

“We face a dilemma in conveying the scientific process to the public, and even within academia: Real science doesn’t fit the elements of effective storytelling.”

Dennis had been vocal on topics surrounding academia, science and pseudoscience on social media for several years. Thus, he readily volunteered to co-organize the March for Science in Lisbon, in 2017. He wants to disseminate the understanding of science, humanities and academia by the public, but also systemic changes within academia.

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about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

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