A 2017 Nobel laureate says he left science because he ran out of money and was fed up with academia

From an article written by Akshat Rathi:

Jeffrey Hall, a retired professor at Brandeis University, shared the 2017 Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries elucidating how our internal body clock works. He was honored along with Michael Young and his close collaborator Michael Roshbash. Hall said in an interview from his home in rural Maine that he collaborated with Roshbash because they shared common interests in “sports, rock and roll, beautiful substances and stuff.”

About half of Hall’s professional career, starting in the 1980s, was spent trying to unravel the mysteries of the biological clock. When he left science some 10 years ago, he was not in such a jolly mood. In a lengthy 2008 interview with the journal Current Biology, he brought up some serious issues with how research funding is allocated and how biases creep into scientific publications.

Whether or not a researcher of a certain notoriety deserves that the ‘support system’

[to] keep him going, there is a far more general problem: What props up biological research, at least in the vaunted US of A, involves a situation so deeply imbued with entitlement mentality that it has sunk into institutional corruption. A principal symptom of this state of affairs involves the following: People are hired after they have undergone long stints of training; and a potential hiree must present a large body of documented accomplishments. In my day you could get a faculty job with zero post-doc papers, as in the case of yours truly; but now the CV of a successful applicant looks like that of a newly minted full Professor from olden times. Notwithstanding these demands, and the associated high quality of a fledgling faculty-level type, the job starts with some “set-up” money for equipping the lab; but next to no means are provided to initiate that ‘research program’ and to sustain it during the years to come.

 

Read more at qz.com

Image Credit:  Alias Studio Sydney

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