Scientists are curious. We start out as all children do, fascinated by the world and want to know how it works and where everything comes from. Some of us go on to study and get a degree, and we enter the production line: Honours/Masters, PhD, postdoc, lab head, maybe even tenure. This is where it gets tricky. We either sink or float. And it’s hard to float. It’s hard to get through the mire of grant writing and research and establishing yourself. And it leaves no room for creativity within or outside of science that isn’t related to ingenious experimental design.
What happens when you fall out of love with the standard science career of Honours/Masters> PhD>Postdoc? Our fabulous guest curator this week, Eva Amsen, tells us: you write, you communicate, you get creative. Eva finished her PhD with the realisation that she wasn’t mad keen on the grind of benchwork – designing experiments, the exhaustive process of trying to figure out why something didn’t work. She did find that she loved science – just not the process of doing it. But she also found that she loved writing about science and talkign about with other people – scientists and non-scientists alike. And venturing forth into writing and science communication, discovered a whole new world involving science without the experiments.
Eva’s shared some of her work with new journal Faculty1000, a novel venture in Open Access publishing and peer review, her films and podcasts and other exhilarating media work that comes with sharing your love of science with others. And she had some excellent advice and reality check for those who think science is unidirectional.
And best of all, we had a pure Real Scientists moment as Eva baked a science cake with us. Never was there a prouder moment at Real Scientists HQ than this. Well. Except for all the other ones.
So massive thanks, Eva, for your inspiration and delightful company this week, and for showing us where a science degree can take you, pre- or even post- PhD. Science careers are more than a tenure-track treadmill. You can catch up on Eva’s week of tweeting here.