Wanted: Non-Academic Scientists

Having spent the last couple of posts talking (in part) about the need to change academic culture, and de-stigmatize non-academic science jobs, here’s an attempt to step up and do something direct and productive. No, this won’t cost you anything.

One of the difficulties with trying to broaden the usual definition of scientists is that there’s not a lot of press for non-academic science. Academic culture is so strongly focused on academic careers that people don’t hear a lot about careers outside the usual Ph.D-postdoc-tenure-track-job track. Which helps feed the stress and angst regarding the job market.

And here I am with this public platform, read by many dozens of people (I average 2-3,000 hits a day, according to Google Analytics), a fair fraction of whom are students whole will face career choices in the future. So I’ll offer this up for the purpose of publicizing those other career tracks.

I will post a series of interviews with non-academic scientists about what they do, and how they got their jobs

Of course, to do this, I need help from you:

If you:

  1. Have a degree (graduate or undergraduate) in a scientific subject,
  2. Have a non-academic job that you find rewarding
  3. Think young science majors might benefit from knowing about your type of job, and
  4. Are willing to answer questions about your job and see them posted on this blog

Then send me an email (orzelc at steelypips, which is an org not a com), and we’ll talk. I’ll ask some questions, you answer them, and I’ll post the results here.

“Non-academic” in this context means “not as a faculty member in a college or university science department.” “Science” here means “one or more of the fields or sub-fields of natural science: physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, geology, and so on.”

I’d obviously prefer to hear from people with a physics background, because I’m more likely to understand what you do, but I’ll take what I can get. If you have a science degree and a career off the academic science track, send me an email, send me an email, and let’s see if we can help broaden the concept of science a little.