LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 15.5

Help for FISH-SCI Archives

FISH-SCI Archives

FISH-SCI Archives


Next Message | Previous Message
Next in Topic | Previous in Topic
Next by Same Author | Previous by Same Author
Chronologically | Most Recent First
Proportional Font | Monospaced Font


Join or Leave FISH-SCI
Reply | Post New Message
Search Archives


To Scientists - On Jobs


Tom Kwak <[log in to unmask]>


Academic forum on fisheries ecology and related topics <[log in to unmask]>


Tue, 8 Apr 1997 10:38:29 -0500





text/enriched (1 lines)

To All,

   I was hesitant to forward the letter below to the list, but I agree
with the list owner, who raised the issue, that it's worth discussion
in a general sense. Many of us at a range of educational levels have
experienced trying times in finding that dream job - an adequate job -
or any job. While the letter below may discourage some, it may inspire
others to know that they are not alone in a challenging situation.
Some may wish to respond to Alan Hale -- if for no other reason, to
share your frustration -- but also to possibly help call attention to a
problem worth discussing and mitigating. I personally continue to
encourage students to pursue science...but not to expect an easy time
of it.

Regards, Tom Kwak

p.s., if you have a problem with this posting, please contact me


Subject: an open letter from Alan Hale

Date: 21 Mar 1997 19:13:35 GMT

From: [log in to unmask] (Alan Hale)

Organization: NMSU Astronomy

Newsgroups: sci.astro.amateur

An open letter to the scientists of my generation:

   I am Alan Hale, the co-discoverer of Comet Hale-Bopp which, as I'm

sure you're aware, is getting a tremendous amount of media attention

at this time. Like I'm sure is true for many of you, I was inspired

by the scientific discoveries and events taking place during my

to pursue a career in science only to find, after completing the

of undergraduate and graduate school, that the opportunities for us

to have a career in science are limited at best and are which I

describe as "abysmal." Based upon my own experiences, and those of you

with whom I have discussed this issue, my personal feeling is that,

unless there are some pretty drastic changes in the way that our

approaches science and treats those of us who have devoted our lives

making some of our own contributions, there is no way that I can, with

a clear conscience, encourage present-day students to pursue a career

in science. It really pains me a great deal to say something like

but I feel so strongly about this that I have publicly made this

statement at almost every opportunity I have been given.

   I am trying to use the media attention that is currently being

upon me to raise awareness of this state of affairs, and perhaps start

effect those changes that will allow me to convey a more positive

to the next generation. So far, I'm sensing a certain reluctance among

media to discuss this issue, as they seem far more interested in items

which I consider to be irrelevant and unimportant. But I intend to

hammering away at this, and I'd like to believe that eventually some

going to sit up and take notice. I am also attempting to schedule

with some of our government leaders, to see if I can at least get some

acknowledgement from Washington that this is a problem that needs to

dealt with.

   My reason for writing to you is to ask your help. I know that I'm

alone in being frustrated about the current prospects for pursuing any
kind of

decent career within science, and I'm quite sure that many of you have

"horror stories" about your searches for decent employment that are

similar to my own. I'd like to hear them. I'd especially like to hear

those of you who are on your second or third or fourth post-doc, or

have left the field as a result of the employment situation, or who

experienced severe personal difficulties (e.g., break-up of a

etc.). I realize that some of these might be painful to discuss, but

like to show that we are not a bunch of impersonal statistics, but

we're human beings trying to make an honest living and perhaps make a

contribution or two to society while we're at it. Speaking of

though, if you received any information about the numbers of applicants

some of the positions you applied to -- which was often a 3-digit

number in my case -- I'd like to hear that, too.

   Please e-mail your stories to me at [log in to unmask], with a subject
line of

"horror stories" or something like that. Please let me know if you

prefer to remain anonymous when I share these stories with the press

the government. Also, please pass this message on to any of your

and colleagues who might be interested in sharing their stories with

me, and keep in mind that I would like to receive stories from as many
scientific disciplines as possible. (Because of the amount of e-mail

I'm receiving these days, along with everything else that's going on,

probably won't be able to acknowledge each message individually.)

   Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you. Perhaps, with

opportunity we have before us right now, we have the chance to make a



Alan Hale



Tom Kwak ([log in to unmask])

Arkansas Cooperative Research Unit

Dept of Biological Sciences

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR 72701



Back to: Top of Message | Previous Page | Main FISH-SCI Page



CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager