When I started my PhD studies at the turn of this century, I envisaged my time in research would be spent making observations, formulating hypotheses, designing and carrying out experiments and making discoveries – and eventually train the next generation of researchers to do the same.
A vision based on what scientists have done for millennia and the words of “African” wisdom from my late father:
“carpenters make furniture & scientists perform experiments”
So there I was toiling long and hard with my students in the lab for 5 years after gaining tenure. But, I had to give it up for an office life of juggling writing grants/papers and supervising/teaching duties.
Recently, I read an editorial on the role of basic scientific research in developing countries, and I started to wonder what the future holds for today’s early-career researchers in Africa.
Would the harsh reality of a career in science diminish their dream of a life of awe, wonder and first-hand thrill of conducting experiments and making new discoveries?
Or would they demand change, today?
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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