14 June 2016 18 Comments
I tried to let this particular white-hot rage die down. But it won’t.
So, hopefully, here’s a constructive post built from the foundations of my infuriation.
I heard a researcher talking about how they balanced their academic work life a while ago, and it made me very angry.
Basically, they said that anything that wasn’t clearly noted as part of their workload, they wouldn’t bother doing.
The implication being that anyone who did ‘extra’ or ‘unnecessary’ things were total mugs because those things weren’t getting them ahead in their careers – therefore, not worth doing. They considered the idea of communicating research (and social media as a whole) as a fad in which only the gullible would indulge their time.
They also seemed smug, and it’s always hard for me to like those who seem smug.
I agree that people shouldn’t fall on their swords and slog away at little recognised, exploitative roles or over-the-workload-limit tasks and responsibilities. I’m not saying that academics must carry the weight of all that needs to be done, because we know that it’s always already too much.
What made me so angry was that this researcher wasn’t talking about solidarity with colleagues in the face of workload adversity. They were totally focused on what would be worthwhile doing for their own career and promotion prospects; everything else was secondary, if not worthless. Read more of this post