WHY IS THE DAILY LIFE OF MODERN UNIVERSITY SCIENTISTS SO VERY HECTIC?

 

Daily Life for University Scientists is Very Hectic
Daily Life for University Scientists is Very Hectic (http://dr-monsrs.net)

 

             Almost all scientists working on research as faculty members in academia will admit that their professional life is completely full of activities and that they often are quite frustrated trying to get everything done in time for the very numerous deadlines.  Many also will agree that the crowded schedule of all their daily work creates a hectic life that is amazingly different from what had been anticipated back when they were graduate students or postdocs; this even includes those scientists who are very successful with both obtaining research grants and producing many publications. 

 

Why do so many university scientists feel this way?  There are 5  chief causes of this self-judgment: (1) the main job of scientists working as faculty in universities now is to acquire more profits for their employer, rather than to discover more new knowledge via experimental studies (see my earlier post on “What is the New Main Job of Faculty Scientists?” in the Scientists category); (2) their chief laboratory activity often is acting as a research manager sitting at a desk, rather than actually performing any experiments at the lab bench; (3) their busy life is a never-ending sequence of job deadlines (see my recent post on “The Life of Modern Scientists is an Endless Series of Deadlines” in the Scientists category) involving grant applications, grant renewals, grant reports and forms, course lectures, course laboratories, course review sessions, course examinations, course staff meetings, conferences with students, academic meetings, annual meeting of science societies, submissions of new manuscripts, submission of revised manuscripts, completing invited reviews of manuscripts submitted by other scientists, evaluations of graduate students, evaluations of laboratory staff, professional correspondence, making travel arrangements, etc.,  etc.); (4) their intended schedule of work often can require more than 24 hours each day (see my earlier post on “What do University Scientists Actually do in their Daily Work?” in the Scientists category); and, (5) it becomes harder each year in a science career to either do research on the subjects and questions of their own choice, venture into some new interdisciplinary research effort, or be able to relax despite the enormous pressures generated by the research grant system (i.e., applications for research grant renewal never are guaranteed to be successful, and laboratory assignments will change or disappear if a proposal for renewal is denied funding).  These many job worries are both understandable and unavoidable; however, they create dismay and result in increasing dissatisfaction for many faculty who originally were very enthusiastic at becoming a university scientist. 

 

Why do so many academic scientists feel trapped inside what must be called a rat race?  Typically, these unexpected conditions arise slowly as their career progresses; the end point often is not recognized until the perverse situation already is well-established.  Once one perceives how deep this hectic quagmire can become, the only obvious solutions are either to put up with everything in return for the several good features of modern academic life, or to seek to move into a better job situation with a new employer or even a new career.  Most university scientists facing this dilemma are at least some 40 years of age; for many, their future retirement already can be foreseen.  Thus, moving to a new job site is not so easily accomplished, and is known to often result in the loss of 6-12 months of research productivity.  Many faculty scientists feel overwhelmed in this situation, and are hesitant to try to do anything about it.  A good number of faculty scientists who reach this midcareer realization start spending much more of their daily job time with teaching, writing books, and administrative work; they also work more frequently at home, rather than working in their research lab or office on campus. 

 

For all the employing universities, there are few rewards that they could receive by trying to resolve the problems of their faculty scientists listed above.   For these academic institutions, the recognized hectic life of their faculty research scientists translates into more profits and greater employee productivity.  Thus, most modern universities are fully pleased and very satisfied with exactly the same job problems and situations that perturb their science faculty!  This means that the university system with faculty scientists is very likely to continue just as it is today for a long time.

 

In principle, improved  education could help professional scientists to handle these job problems more successfully.  In graduate school education, new more realistic courses could be offered concerning what to do when faced with the many large practical problems of prioritizing and handling deadlines, allocating time commitments, dealing with the perverse practices of the federal research grant system, etc. (see my recent post on “Education of University Scientists: What is Wrong Today?” in the Education category).  At present, these matters usually are not covered either by any courses, or by formal instructions; instead, counsel is sought on an individual basis by informal discussions in the hallway with more experienced members of the science faculty.

 

Another part of the reason why there are so few current efforts to make the needed changes in modern universities is that some particularly successful faculty scientists do rise to the top despite these difficult job problems, and their employer then uses them as models of what all the other university scientists should be doing.  This common practice has the obvious major flaw that the number of such eminently successful faculty scientists in any university undoubtedly is enormously less than the number of those other faculty who are frustrated and dissatisfied with their hectic professional life.  In addition, I suspect that even extra-successful faculty scientists also are dismayed at just how hectic their daily life is. 

. 

 GO BACK TO HOME PAGE      OR      SCROLL UP TO MENU

                                                            UNDER THE WEBSITE TITLE

24 thoughts on “WHY IS THE DAILY LIFE OF MODERN UNIVERSITY SCIENTISTS SO VERY HECTIC?

  1. Can I simply say what a comfort to find a person that
    truly knows what they’re discussing on the internet.
    You certainly understand how to bring an issue to light and make
    it important. A lot more people must look at this and understand this side of the story.
    I was surprised you are not more popular because you surely possess the gift.

  2. This is a really good tip particularly to those
    fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise information… Many thanks
    for sharing this one. A must read article!

  3. hello there and thank you for your info – I’ve definitely picked up something new from right here.
    I did however expertise some technical issues using this site, as I experienced
    to reload the website lots of times previous
    to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web hosting
    is OK? Not that I am complaining, but slow loading instances times will
    sometimes affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if ads and marketing
    with Adwords. Anyway I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot more of your respective interesting content.
    Make sure you update this again soon.

  4. Yes, my webhosting is good, Anna; please see if a different browser gives a better result!

    Dr.M

  5. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every
    day. It’s always useful to read through content from other writers and
    use a little something from their sites.

  6. Hi would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re utilizing?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.

    Can you recommend a good web hosting provider at a honest price?

    Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

  7. I think what you composed was very reasonable. However, think about this, suppose you
    were to create a killer post title? I mean, I don’t want to tell you
    how to run your website, but suppose you added something that grabbed people’s
    attention? I mean WHY IS THE DAILY LIFE OF MODERN UNIVERSITY SCIENTISTS SO VERY HECTIC?
    | Dr.M on Science, Research, & Scientists is a little boring.
    You ought to peek at Yahoo’s home page and note how they create article headlines to get people
    to click. You might add a related video or a related picture or two to get
    readers excited about what you’ve written. Just my opinion,
    it might make your blog a little bit more interesting.

  8. Nice blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What
    web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?
    I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  9. Thank you for all the suggestions, Arron, but (1) I am not Yahoo, (2) this site is for serious adults, and (3) if readers need pics to become excited, then they should go to the internet and look at millions!

    Dr.M

  10. Howdy are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world
    but I’m trying to get started and create my own.
    Do you need any coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  11. It’s amazing to go to see this web page and reading the views of all friends on the topic of this
    paragraph, while I am also keen of getting know-how.

Comments are closed.