In this week of the Recovering Academic podcast we talk with Dr. Gary McDowell and his journey outside academia. Gary is the executive director of The Future of Research
, a non-profit organization created for and by early career researchers to make the research enterprise more sustainable for future generations. Their mission is to champion, engage, and empower early career researchers with evidence-based resources to improve the research endeavor.
Gary tells us how even though his path out of academia was somewhat ‘easy’ to delineate, it was still very hard to finally take the decision and leave. “But I don’t know if I’m ready yet.
You come walking into this room
Like you’re walking into my arms.
What would I do without you?” I don’t think people understand how difficult is is (to leave academia). @BiophysicalFrog
He also discussed how almost everybody that leaves academia experiences the same feelings of disappointment and feelings of failure. Also how it seems most of the recovering academics have a self-imposed isolation from academia to have a ‘clean break’. Unlike them, Gary is still directly involved with academia, and most of his daily duties seem a lot academic-like. I hear this a lot: “Nobody twists your arm and say you have to be a post-doc”. Nobody physically does it, but psychologically, they do. @BiophysicalFrog
You can read more about Gary’s career in the FoR website
and contact him on his Twitter account: @BiophysicalFrog
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