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OccupyScience: More evidence that the bottom is falling out of research


Brandy Cross, brain the size of a small planet, no job in sight

Lambert and ralphb pointed me to a blog post, Hungry for Jobs and Change, Scientists Join the Occupy Movement in Scientific American reporting on the growing number of scientists at occupy events.  We’re always the ones that fly under the radar of the politicians and policy wonks so it is significant that we’re finally becoming visible.  Here are some of the money quotes:

Brandie Cross held the sign. She is in the 5th year of a PhD program in biochemistry at The Johns Hopkins University. Her specialty is breast cancer, a traditionally well-funded specialty. But she’s sure her job prospects are dim. “I’d like to start my own biotech company. I have tons of inventions, and I want to be funded by NIH. But there’s no money.”

I also spoke with Dr. Troy Rubin, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins who also showed up at the protest, and I heard a different angle; Rubin was more worried about the long-term future of America. I asked him why he was participating and he said, “We live in a society where wisdom is less appreciated than money. An economically driven society is fundamentally unsustainable.”

And scientists have certainly had much cause to protest during the last decade. With the sidelining of the American Competes act, the failure of Congress to pass climate change legislation, and the nationwide crisis afflicting science, technology and math (STEM) education, many of us are feeling helpless and angry, not just Cross and Rubin.

As one of the people in the accompanying video says, it doesn’t matter how many degrees you have, we don’t fund science in this country anymore.  Too true.  Well, there’s just no immediate profit in it.  Just ask any Wall Street analyst.  If you can’t get your research to pay off in the next quarter, what good are you??  If you are a labrat going to an occupy event, wear your labcoat and goggles so we can recognize each other.

The video that accompanies the post starts with “Scientists aren’t mad, we’re PISSED!”.  That is an understatement.  Unfortunately, the video ends with a plug for a book.  That kind of dilutes the message.  Just sayin’.

6 Responses

  1. The push in the breast cancer arena needs to be more on research and less on “awareness”. Finding a cure for metastatic breast cancer is the only way to save lives. That won’t happen via wearing more pink.

  2. From Joe Cannon, Tea Party Nation calls on small employers not to hire anyone until Obama is gone. These are truly despicable people.

    A call for the “Atlases” to shrug

    A major teabagger website is calling on small business owners to put the “Atlas Shrugs” scenario to the real-world test. The baggers want all small business owners to stop hiring in order to protest what they hilarious call

    a globalist socialist agenda of redistribution of wealth, and the waging of class warfare against our constitutional republic’s heritage of individual rights, free market capitalism, and indeed our Constitution itself, with the ultimate goal of collapsing the U.S. economy and globalizing us into socialism.

    I, an American small business owner, part of the class that produces the vast majority of real, wealth producing jobs in this country, hereby resolve that I will not hire a single person until this war against business and my country is stopped.

    I hereby declare that my job creation potential is now ceased.

    “I’m on strike!”

    • You know, their crazy letter doesn’t make any damn sense. If you are an evangelical Tea Partier, you WANT a globalist socialist world government thingy. It’s part of their interpretation of Revelations. It would be yet another sign that the end is coming. It doesn’t really matter if it’s socialist or capitalist. Global is the key. So, they should be totally onboard.

      • Ah but these people are greedy fucking libertarians who use the language of religion as a cover only, Or maybe it gets more of the theocratically deluded on board for life in New Somalia.

        That they don’t make any sense or are incurable stupid does not make them any less despicable bags of water and hate. Mostly hate.

  3. Rubin is wrong through over-optimism. Wise money-farmers would recognize the wisdom of growing wisdom so as to be able to harvest and monetise the fruits of that wisdom. Now we are ruled by a coalition
    of sack-and-pillage asset-strippers in the financialist sphere and militant backwardite religionazis who want to lead America backward into a new Dark Age of Faith in the political sphere.

    In the decades to come, Obama will be most deeply hated and reviled by whatever Western Civilization historian remain for his fanatical collaboration with the Republican Party to deliberately on purpose rehabilitiate it and bring it back to Power and Dominion. Historians (if such a thing survives the Coming Dark Age) may well consider the possibility that Judas Horse Obama was indeed a secret agent Republican trojan horse posing as a Manchurian Democrat.
    The Republicans would have to nominate someone truly awful to get me to even think about voting for Obama again. And if millions of DDs
    (disgruntled Democrats) re-regisiter Republican just long enough to vote for Romney in the Republican Primaries in hopes that Romney would get the nomination, then we would not have that Fear of a Dark Ages Republican to even worry about. We would be set free to vote Third Party.

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