• Question: What are the cons of being a scientist

    Asked by anon-201586 to Sophia, Sarah, Meirin, George, Emily, Andy on 13 Mar 2019.
    • Photo: Andy Buckley

      Andy Buckley answered on 13 Mar 2019:

      If you want to be very rich, above all else, science isn’t the most efficient way to get there. I’m paid pretty well, but will never be *rich*… and that’s ok. There are a lot of people who went through science degrees and PhDs, then turned those skills into business ideas that made them a lot of money, though. It’s also hard work, and probably a slog if you don’t really enjoy it. Hence, most people doing it *do* really enjoy it: if we didn’t, there’d be an easier, more fun way to live.

    • Photo: Meirin Oan Evans

      Meirin Oan Evans answered on 14 Mar 2019:

      Good question, it’s important that young people ask these questions.
      Above what Andy said, you might have to move around to live near the latest and greatest science facilities. This might be difficult if you want to settle down in a particular location. But moving around and seeing the world can be very appealing to many people! Plus, moving around might become less of a requirement in the future as more of our work can be done remotely.

    • Photo: Sarah O'Sullivan

      Sarah O'Sullivan answered on 14 Mar 2019:

      The academic life can be very busy and there’s a some uncertainty after you’ve done a PhD. If you want to do research positions after a PhD, called post-docs, then you’re often moving a lot and the contracts can be only for a couple of years which doesn’t help you get settled anywhere. Doing a PhD can be quite stressful, like any other job.

    • Photo: Sophia Pells

      Sophia Pells answered on 15 Mar 2019:

      Other people have already said pretty much everything I was going to. You probably aren’t going to become a millionaire working in scientific research but people don’t tend to go into science for the money. The short-term contracts can make research a bit off-putting too, until you’re lucky like Andy and get a permanent position somewhere you tend to only have contracts for 2-3 years to work at an institute and then have to find somewhere else.