Not Just For Artists Anymore.

One the many downsides of being both graduated and unemployed is that it makes it very difficult for me to publish papers based on my Master’s Thesis, as most peer-reviewed scientific journals demand that submissions come from scholars with some institutional affiliation. As a means of getting around this problem, one of my former supervisors has helped me gain a nominal affiliation with the local university. Unfortunately, the physics department can’t afford to pay me*, so what I am doing at present is writing papers with the express and exclusive purpose of “getting my name out there” as a scholar in my field.

All well and good, of course. But then someone on facebook posted this comic:

And then, in a moment of horror, it occurred to me that I was literally doing physics for exposure.

Nobody should ever have to work like this, of course; and of course, I didn’t go into physics for the money**. But I have spent my entire life up to this point having been told by all and sundry that a degree in a nice, mathematical field would mean that I wouldn’t have to work for nothing.

But that’s not how it works in Stephen Harper’s Canada, apparently.


*As you might imagine, there is precious little funding left for non-“innovative” subjects like fundamental physics under the present regime.

**If I had, I would have gone into condensed matter physics, or maybe straight into Engineering


About thevenerablecorvex

I have the heart of a poet, the brain of a theoretical physicist, and the wingspan of an albatross. I am also notable for my humility.
This entry was posted in Academics, Physics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Not Just For Artists Anymore.

  1. The one with the lawyer has also come true. Many law school graduates do internships for up to several years in the hope that they will gain enough experience for someone to hire them.

  2. Lindsay says:

    I’m so sorry! This seems to be happening to everyone.

    (Funny thing: a woman recently wrote a guest column for my local newspaper, about her experience with long-term unemployment, and the response to it in letters was all telling her she’s lazy and worthless because she didn’t spend her time volunteering. Like, if you can’t get someone to pay you for working, you still are obligated to work, just for free until such time as someone does finally decide to pay you.)

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