This is a point I was planning to bring up later, but since a comment on the last post has already hit it, let’s start now. IHStreet said,
My worry with this discussion for sustainability is that Ph.D.’s and postdocs will not be considered ‘major stakeholders’/not be a voice in the room (we have numbers but no money, and sadly money matters more than people do in many, many cases– I really am trying not to be cynical).
I replied in the thread, but I think it’s worth pulling this out as a separate thread. My comment:
I didn’t include it in the post, but I especially had trainees in mind when I close, “It’s time to pull up a chair”. Because in these discussions, I’m looking around and wondering, Where are the postdocs and the students?
The National Postdoctoral Association is probably the biggest advocate for this group in the US, and they have some very engaged participants. They’re pushing important issues for postdocs and gathering data.
But having an advocacy organization doesn’t diminish the need for individual engagment. Trainees talk and vent a great deal, but I feel it’s often only in their own circles and often without broader context, e.g. data and understanding the complexity of the system. I was both surprised and not by the lack of trainees present in the session. I don’t know if it’s disenfranchisement, complacency, fear… I understand that many might not feel comfortable speaking up, but at the very least, I think they should be showing up to learn more about the issues in broader contexts, beyond their personal experiences, and to understand the solutions proposed and how these might affect their futures.
Students and postdocs, this is your future we’re talking about, and I’m concerned in many places it’s happening without you. So few of questions for the trainees out there:
- With regard to participation in these discussions, where are you?
- If you’re not showing up to at least listen, why not?
- How are you going to get your seat at the table?