Erika -

Your points are well taken. I especially appreciate your blunt language. I have been a publishing scientist for 35 years, trained at Penn, affiliated with the Smithsonian for 22 years, and tenured a 3 research one universities. Most recently I was president of a liberal arts college in New England.

I think the traditional academic life is wonderful for only a limited few. I have great sympathy for young scholars attempting to break into a tenure track position. The bar is simply too high and the academy is in danger of collapsing under its own weight. One aspect that is worth emphasizing is that the historic system lends itself to cronyism and hegemony of power among a few old guard faculty and senior scholars. This has always been true, but until recently the system has been diverse enough to support many young scholars who could engineer a paradigm shift and forge a new path. The evidence suggests that this is now very hard to do. Young scholars who challenge the status quo often can’t find a salaried position that affords them a platform from which to launch.

I also believe that we treat each other like shit. The lack of community among scholars is legend. Here is a piece that I wrote about this aspect of our culture:

Environmental scientist and educator; forest and climate change ecologist.

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