My foray into political activism began after reading a letter from The Scientist that responded to an article extolling the wealth of knowledge available to postdocs and implying that poor postdocs should be happy that we have been provided opportunities to learn interesting things.1 That article hit a raw nerve. Written by a fellow postdoc, it made me realize that we have been bred to be compliant, nonconfrontational, and abuse friendly. Wealth in knowledge indeed!

Weeks after my response letter was published2, the training director at the Burnham Institute said to me: "I don't understand why postdocs feel so powerless. You can help yourselves in so many ways!"

The next day I got a chance to do just that. I was invited by the Joint Steering Committee for Public Policy, a think tank for a coalition of scientific societies, to attend what it calls Capitol Hill Day...

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