The Sassy Scientist – The Dark Side (No … Not The Moon One)

The Sassy Scientist – The Dark Side (No … Not The Moon One)

Onnem is a big fan of a certain movie franchise about intergalactic space travel, heroism and self-development (with scenes that are depicted not very close by, and which did not occur recently *wink *wink). He smirks:

Is there a dark side to obtaining a PhD?

Dear Onnem,

I think you’ve been spacing out a little too much these days. You’ve actually got things backwards: obtaining a PhD is actually pretty equivalent to joining the Dark Side. You’re now part of a small group of individuals who know about the Force (psst, it’s just a couple mere letters to be printed on your business card). After successfully completing your quest, and having defended yourself against a whole slew of opponents that have mastered the Force, you can blast your opponent (the people’s ignorance of your scientific niche specialty) away with many weapons of choice; publications (just to showboat and upset your colleagues that operate in favour of the Dark Side), social media (just to obliterate the Light Side aka the Woefully Oblivious) and lectures (just for those future minions). Of course, the only perspective you can have is total world/galactic domination and the absolute need to enlighten others your view (on everything) is the one true view. Competition is the only way forward, and cutthroat practices are applauded (as long as you’re not caught). Minions are expendable, though you do need to guide them as they’re otherwise completely useless. Last but not least: when succesfull, you’ll end up with perpetual glory. As per usual.

This doesn’t sound at all what you thought about when considering academia, right? Sreehc.

Yours truly,

The Sassy Scientist

PS: This post was written through sheer will power. Now that’s a force to be reckoned with.

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I am currently employed at a first tier research institute where I am continuously working with the greatest minds to further our understanding of the solid Earth system. Whether it is mantle or lithosphere structure and dynamics, solid Earth rheology parameters, earthquake processes, integrating observations with model predictions or inversions: you have read a paper of mine. Even if you are working on a topic I haven’t mentioned here, I still know everything about it. Do you have any problems in your research career? I have already experienced them. Do you struggle with your work-life balance? Been there, done that. Nowadays, I have only one hobby: helping you out by answering the most poignant questions in geodynamics, research and life. I am waiting for you right here. Get inspired.

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