No Dignity in Poverty

Asma Asyyed's story1 is very familiar to me because it is also my own. I am still a postdoc and up until recently I felt very happy doing science. There was a certain joy that was removed from worldly concerns... of discovering, or pursuing something truly beautiful as a research problem, or simply thinking about the implications of my work (I work on nerve regeneration/spinal cord injury). Never mind being poor, never mind that I worry about my family's and my needs constantly as I think about the experiments for tomorrow.

But not anymore. Now I feel truly sad after realizing that the current scientific enterprise (yes, it is an enterprise) betrays us postdocs by keeping us needy. There is wealth in knowledge but no dignity in poverty.

Maybe I should try to get rich first. Let those who can stomach a lifetime of poverty...

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