Having a career in science…and what is “science” anyway?

Episode 15 of the Sympathetic People podcast, in which we discuss careers in science and ask questions about what exactly “science” is anyway.

It’s undeniably a problem that scientific research is underfunded. PhD students represent cheap labour for laboratories and universities, but how many of them can find a job when they complete their degrees? How many young researchers ever achieve job security? How does science stack up against other career paths in these regards?

Another core issue we discuss is what “science” really is. Many people seem to believe that science is fundamentally different from the arts and humanities, but “science” is just an outgrowth of empiricism. Empiricism is a branch of epistemology and epistemology is a branch of philosophy – science isn’t clearly separable from philosophy, it’s part of it! Not only this, but differences between the sciences and the arts, or between science and ancient traditions of myth-making and storytelling are greatly exaggerated.

Enjoy, subscribe, like (if you do), and please comment below with your thoughts!

Ouroborus painting by Genevieve Jackson.

2 thoughts on “Having a career in science…and what is “science” anyway?

  1. One could say science is masculine brain activity – you’ve had an accident, let’s fix it; the arts are female brain activity – what do you feel about the accident and how did it affect others.
    What is ‘job security’ ‘career paths’? Are they ‘good’ for you or just useful?


  2. I think even that would overstate the difference between the arts and “science” (and I’m not sure about this use of “science” as a singular noun, as if it’s any one thing)! I’d hesitate to generalise about “good” versus “useful” there too – job security and a career path could be either, both, or neither, depending on the individual and the career/job. Turns out I’m not sure about much – isn’t life messy!?


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