“Ranking On” Students and Post-Docs

January 11, 2008

There is no question that some people see this blog as “ranking on” students and post-docs in a manner exactly complementary to the way that Young Female Scientist “ranks on” PIs. For example, in a comment to this post, Bill wrote:

You guys like to rank on postdocs and students over here, and that’s fine, its nice to see a counterpoint to YoungFemaleScientist’s warped view of the world.

I have never observed anyone “rank” on post-docs and students here. I can speak only for myself, but I care very deeply for students and post-docs, and invest a great deal of time and effort in trying to ensure that my students and post-docs have the best possible training experience and, consequently, the best possible opportunity to successfully advance to the next stage of their careers.

I do this for at least two reasons: (1) I truly enjoy effectively mentoring my trainees and gain great satisfaction from seeing them grow as scientists. (2) The better a job I do as a mentor, the more my career benefits from the trainee-mentor relationship, both in terms of direct scientific productivity in my lab and in terms of the broader productivity that arises out of my scientific lineage.

What some surely do see as “ranking”, I see as “disabusing of counterproductive misapprehensions concerning how and why things work the way they do in the world of academic bioscience”.

Incidentally, I do not think Young Female Scientist has a “warped” view of the world due to any personal or professional failing of her own. I believe that she has a view of the world that is deeply colored by her experience with a shitty PI. There are PIs out there who care deeply about effectively mentoring their trainees and invest the time and effort necessary to do so.

2 Responses to ““Ranking On” Students and Post-Docs”

  1. bill Says:

    (Just so you know, that Bill ain’t this Bill. I leave email or website so you know when it’s me, given that the name is pretty common.)


  2. drugmonkey Says:

    What PhysioProf said. Ditto.

    Except for one thing. We all need to recognize that there is no such thing as black hat / white hat based on group membership in this discussion.

    There ARE jerkwad, sexist, elitist, hidebound, idiot exploitative PIs. And there ARE lameass, just-puttin-in-the-time, web-surfin’, IM-chattin’ idiot postdocs.

    There are also well-meaning people who are trying to make science the best it can be. The existence of lame-asses in “your” category, and the identification of same, does not mean that you are lame.

    okay now?


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