Thursday, June 21, 2007

The road not taken

At this conference, I have had occasion to talk to some of the applicants I didn't accept for our postdoc position one month ago. They all seem to be excellent, and my feeling that I could have hired any, or all, of them and made a very good choice was even stronger. Luckily, but not surprisingly, they all have other offers.
Plus, I talked with a couple of more senior guys, basically people my age and scientific level, who don't yet have a position and are slowly contemplating the possibility that they might never get one. It seems so sad, and so unfair. These people aren't particularly good, but neither am I. I was always very career conscious (as opposed to "eventually I'll find something") so maybe I did do a bit more than them. But to stand next to them, and know that I'm full professor, and they hope to find another position next year... academiacan be really unjust. I wonder how the other full professors deal with this.

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