Unpredictable Challenges Define A Career In Research Science

Scientists today face myriad challenges on a daily basis. From funding to writing proposals, government red tape and even the storage of biological materials in a biorepository, they face some tough issues. Let’s take a minute to take a peek at some of those issues.

Today, science is at the forefront of innovation. Scientists around the world are all striving to test that latest theory or invent the newest product. While it isn’t yet possible for scientists to have an answer for everything, it is through their research and developments that we have most of the luxuries of the day that we enjoy.

Whether you know it or not, the sciences are also the fields where there are some of the most lucrative careers. It doesn’t matter if it is in social or physical sciences, or even life sciences, there are careers in science that are both innovative and money-making. That being said, they are all still riddled with challenges.

The Internet

If you are a scientist, or are studying to become one, then you will be aware of the many challenges you face when it comes to harnessing resources that are web – based. Here are a few examples:

  • Loss of browsability
  • Navigation that is poorly designed
  • Fees
  • Misinformation
  • Information overload
  • Only having one or two databases at your fingertips and therefore missing out on unique data that might be available via sources that you don’t have access to.

There is a solution of a sort for this dilemma, though. Some scientists have come to find that librarians are a great source of help in this area. They can help with the development of strategies to assist in overcoming the challenges that information that is web – based present.

Other Perceived Challenges

Did you know that as of this writing, that only a mere 50% of scientists feel that right now is a great time for science? That number has dropped from 74% only 7 years ago. This is according to polls taken by the Pew Research Center.

According to this poll, there are a few reasons for the decline in enthusiasm. Some of these reasons include challenges such as the current political climate and economy. However, those don’t seem to be the main reasons. The main perceived challenges for research scientists today is the idea that research doesn’t have all that much influence when it comes to public policy and the fact that there seems to be a lack of funding for all types of research. Other challenges include:

  • Too few jobs on track for tenure
  • Too few job openings in R & D
  • Salaries that are below competition level in the market
  • The long hours that are necessary for one to be able to succeed in research
  • Today’s graduate training doesn’t meet the needs of today

If someone is truly interested in becoming a research scientist despite all of the challenges, they will either be able to work around the challenges or to develop strategies to work with them. Funding, for example, can be worked with if you request grants or other types of funding and then work within the budget allotted. As far as the public policy goes, ask yourself this – are you getting into science for the love of research or to be a catalyst for change? Either one of those can be done…just in different ways. What you really need to ask yourself is whether or not you will be able to stick to your guns and see it through to the end.

 

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Joey

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