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Postdocs: Truly, Les Miserables

There comes an hour when protest no longer suffices; after philosophy there must be action; the strong hand finishes what the idea has sketched. --Victor Hugo, Les Miserables, Saint Denis in book 13, ch. 3 In the Feb. 10 issue, after polling 2,800 postdocs, we highlighted the best places to work and the factors that contribute to job satisfaction. But in the box for free-text comments, quite a different set of verdicts was being delivered. Most of the 600 comments were shrieks of protest, f

Richard Gallagher

There comes an hour when protest no longer suffices; after philosophy there must be action; the strong hand finishes what the idea has sketched.

--Victor Hugo, Les Miserables, Saint Denis in book 13, ch. 3

In the Feb. 10 issue, after polling 2,800 postdocs, we highlighted the best places to work and the factors that contribute to job satisfaction. But in the box for free-text comments, quite a different set of verdicts was being delivered. Most of the 600 comments were shrieks of protest, frustration, misery, and fury.

A typical remark: "... You are not paid what you deserve, but you are working more than you are supposed to do to get the job that you want. It is a very bad culture to take advantage of those who are interested in science by not giving them the job and making them work hard for free (almost free)."...

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