Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A PhD can go one of two ways. I dont mean rather well vs. terrible failure. I mean two ways for the person doing it and their notion of the world of academia and the, hitherto thought of as, big bad corporate world.
All my life, previous to the last year and a bit, I have wanted to be an academic. Not just because that is what the family did or wanted me to do. Not even because I spent a rather large part of my time as a child scribbling on the walls of my home and pretending to teach a classroom. Ok, maybe largely because of those things and partly because I think that if you can teach something - you know it!
One might fake knowledge to a certain extent but there will come a student who will ask 'why?' and will not rest in peace till the question is satisfactorily answered.
So post the Bachelor of Technology and Honours, a PhD seemed like the obvious next step. I had hopes and dreams that upon embarking on this utterly honorable doctorate, the noble and exciting world of academia would welcome me with open arms. I would walk the harrowed hallways where genius resulted in inventions. Where age, gender and identity melted off into nothingness in the wake of discovery and basic truths that created the world and that make it go around. Unfortunately it was a, rather rude, shock.
What makes this world and any other world go around is money. Even academia is no longer about doing the work but rather about showing the people with money that the work can be done - by you and so they should fund you!
Some college drop-out type in a government job who got stuck with a stack of papers and knows nothing about the science in them, now governs what gets the moolah and what gets the sack. Pity really.
So I might get a move on it. Finish with it now. Move ahead to, what now seems, like greener pastures.


OnCloud9 said...

it may be true that money given to academics is sometimes governed by people who have no knowledge of science

but i differ about academica being controlled by corporates being bad.

i dont have a lot of experience...but post degree i have spend 2 years in a lab and 2 and a half years in a company and i have realised that though i respect people who do science for the sake of knowledge...knowledge is just not worth it to the world if it cannot be used for a practical purpose.

science where you can see where it will go towards the end of your discovery...and where you can see it being used by people other than scientists is what i think it should be about.

and if corporates fund science for this purpose i really dont see the harm

and i definitely dont see it as being evil in any way

Amrita said...

Completely agree with you, was not trying to say that corporate funding was bad, was just trying to say that the stereotype is a 'big bad corporate world' but the academic world is not very different

OnCloud9 said...

hmm i guess thats the sad fact of life...

paise par duniya kaayam hai :)