Chronicle WTF?Posted: August 29, 2012
“Newest Scientists Are the Least Worried and Most Satisfied, Survey Finds” is the title of a story at the Chronicle of Higher Education. That sounds…um…wrong to me. The article is a weird summary of a survey conducted by Nature, summarized by Nature its own self here. But the Chronicle’s bizarrely selective and distorted take on it is much more interesting.
Let’s take “worried.” The question was this:
To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
“The global recession has had a negative impact on my overall job satisfaction.”
The Chronicle re-reports that among those who got their PhD 16 or more years ago, 50% agree with this statement, compared to just one-third of those who got their PhD in the last two years. First of all, if you got your PhD in the last two years, you are almost certainly not in a faculty position, and you are much further from retirement. So yeah, the global recession is not your biggest problem, having a job at all is. Second, what the does fuck this has to do with being “worried,” which would imply to me concern about the future, not current job satisfaction? Also, this says nothing about your overall job satisfaction, just how much the recession has affected it.
So what about “satisfied”, which is apparently the opposite of “worried,” but just not in the context of the recession. Interestingly, the article says nothing about “newer” scientists being more satisfied. But that’s the chart from Nature, on the left.
Um, no, the “newest” scientists are not more satisfied. It is interesting that the North American trend is a little different. But besides the “Associate Slump” (a hot button issue the Chronicle has hilariously covered before) the trend toward increased job satisfaction is pretty clear.
What the fuck is with this story?