iBiology Hangout with Dr. Gregory Petsko

We had a live question and answer session with Dr. Gregory Petsko about the biomedical workforce on December 3rd, 2013. You can watch the Hangout in its entirety in the video below. You can also view the answer to a specific question by selecting one of the questions listed below the video, which will take you to a clip with Dr. Petsko's answer, or by visiting his iBiology Hangout Event Page


Questions that were asked during the iBiology Hangout:


Supporting Postdocs

Could reducing the supply of Ph.D.s from outside of the US solve the job shortage problem?

What would be the short term solution for the current excess of postdocs?

What are potential problems/criticisms regarding your proposal to double postdoctoral salaries?

In lieu of publications in Cell, Nature and Science, how can postdocs demonstrate their abilities?



How can mentors better prepare their students to non-academic careers?

How can we educate mentors about non-academic careers?

How eager are mentors to give their postdocs time to pursue other careers?

Is the focus on academia a barrier when it comes to mentors providing exposure to non-academic careers?

How do your most effective postdocs get the best mentoring from you?

How best to incentivize mentors to allow trainees to participate in professional development activities?

What advice would you have when it comes to dealing with difficult advisors or postdocs?

How can we encourage 'alternative' careers to consider hiring graduate students (instead of post-docs)?


Graduate and Postdoctoral Training

What should postdocs learn during their training?

Would increasing postdoc salaries shift the pressure onto graduate students to identify other careers?

How can we make sure that institutions take up the responsibility for training?

What should professional scientific societies be doing to support postdocs?


Research Careers

Should we create other research career opportunities?

Should the system allow for permanent scientist positions in labs?

What if postdocs were classified as staff scientists and moved up as a set scale in academia?

How long should you stay in an academic postdoc if you plan to go into industry?

Instead of decreasing the quantity of postdocs, why not increase the number of research positions?


Science, Politics and Economy

Will reducing the number of trainee researchers cause the US to become less competitive?

Would eliminating tenure make room for younger scientists?

How can we justify the diminishing return taxpayers are getting from such a dysfunctional system?

How can scientists circumvent the politicization of science?

Should we accept fewer tenure-track positions because of increasing adjunct faculty/private funding?

Why do you believe that paying postdocs more will lead to fewer of them? How about cutting grants?

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