Ever since I was a little kid, science and technology have fascinated me. When I read magazines, newspapers (or, now, web sites), the first or second thing I turned to was always the science/technology section, the way many folks look for the sports pages. Thus I am re-publishing an article I found through referral by a friend in biological research. Through my relationships and friendships to scientists (and my marriage to an outstanding researcher), I’ve heard Lenny’s story many times. I think his story is sad for both himself and his country, but is also a compelling argument for reforming the dog-eat-dog world of competing for wholly inadequate grant money by highly-trained and grossly-underpaid scientists who work in a frequently-disheartening professional environment.
[UPDATE (April 2, 2012): We now need 9,333 more signatures to hit 25,000 by April 17. If you have not yet signed the petition, please do so, and ask your friends and co-workers to log into the site and sign.]
A new petition has been initiated (the first one failed by just 88 signatures!), and needs 25,000 signatures by April 17, 2012. As of this date (March 25), it is more than halfway there at 12,574.
I have long believed that America is a profoundly anti-intellectual country, in spite of the paradox of America’s belief in its technological and intellectual superiority over the rest of the world.
You hear the insults all the time, concurrent with an actual or understood sneer: Long hairs, eggheads, nerds, geeks, Ivory Tower academics, brainiacs, book worms, teacher’s pets, know-it-alls, rocket scientists.