• Question: If you had to give up one thing about science what would it be?

    Asked by Mollie to Steve, Alice, Bose, Christian, Emma on 13 Mar 2016. This question was also asked by Emmyisnotalemon.
    • Photo: Steve Marsden

      Steve Marsden answered on 13 Mar 2016:

      Oh, that’s a really tough one. I’m really not sure. Can I get rid of the deadlines? They’re a useful motivator a lot of the time, but they can be a serious pain. There is a stereotype related to scientists staying late in the office and ending up sleeping under the desk… and it holds true for many at one point or another during their career.

    • Photo: Benjamin Bose

      Benjamin Bose answered on 14 Mar 2016:

      Right now there isn’t much I’d give up but from what I hear from more senior scientists is that one of the most annoying things about this job is the constant applications for new positions.

      Typical researcher positions last from anywhere between 1 to 3 years and they’re generally not easy to get (a lot of competition). This means you’ll generally need to start lengthy and numerous applications for new positions up to a year before the end of your current position. It’s stressful I’m sure.

      So perhaps the insecurity of your position is the choice, but like I said, right now there isn’t much I can think of giving up…. perhaps 50% of the cakes and sweets we get here in the office – I’m surprised I haven’t ran into any serious teeth problems yet.

    • Photo: Alice Harpole

      Alice Harpole answered on 15 Mar 2016:

      I agree with Bose – I’m not looking forward to the next stage of my career after my PhD where you typically take positions lasting 1-3 years before moving on to the next one (often having to switch not just institutions, but having to move to completely different parts of the world). The general uncertainty over the future of your career as a scientist, especially in the early stages, sounds quite stressful.