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Plant Physiology®

Why We Do What We Do: Plant Biologists Discuss Their Career Choices - A Collection of Editorials Published in Plant Physiology® July 2001 May 2002

New Series of Editor's Choice Articles. Career Choices

"We put our love where we have put our labor." - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1836)

With this issue of Plant Physiology®, we are initiating a new series of Editor's Choice articles: articles devoted to a new generation of young scientists. We thought it would be interesting for many of you to read several essays devoted to various careers that individuals have chosen in the plant sciences and areas related to science. These issues certainly have been thoroughly discussed and many of you have attended special career choice workshops at various universities and during our own ASPB meetings, but we hope that publishing two or three essays on career choices in every issue during the coming 11 months (until May 2002) will provide an added benefit to our young scientists and colleagues as they attempt to envision and carve out their niche in the field of plant biology. We are planning to collect all of these essays in one booklet, to be sold for a nominal price. For these essays, we have approached several individuals who, with their science degrees, have embarked on very different professional careers. We asked them to write what they enjoy and dislike about their work, what their passions are as well as frustration. We invited colleagues from small colleges and high-powered universities, private institutions, government organizations, and industry. We contacted colleagues who devote at least some of their time to science writing or practicing patent law. And, we also invited several emeritus professors and asked them to describe their scientific life experience: What kept them going throughout their career in science? Would they do it again? Was it worth it? Finally, to provide an international perspective to this important decision in life, we also solicited contributions from colleagues in different countries. With these articles we hope that our young colleagues of the next generation will gain valuable insight into several career opportunities as they read about the career choices and experiences of their senior colleagues. We respected the personal nature of these reflections on career choices and therefore have chosen not to edit these essayswe sincerely believe that our colleagues should speak for themselves. Together, we greatly enjoyed reading these essays, finding most of them fascinating and inspiring, and we very much hope that reading them will be a useful and enlightening experience for many of you.

Natasha Raikhel, Editor-in-Chief of Plant Physiology®


View the articles within the book:

New Series of Editor's Choice Articles. Career Choices
Natasha V. Raikhel and Wilhelm Gruissem

Industry or Academia. This Is the Question!
Harry Klee

Government Research Program Administrator. A Nontraditional Career for a PhD Plant Biologist
Machi F. Dilworth

Samples from Fifty Years of Career Decisions
Lawrence Bogorad

A Life in Science, Editing, and Writing
Pamela J. Hines

A Science Career on Two Continents
Caroline Dean

How I Ended Up As a Patent Attorney
Matthew Hinsch

My Science Pilgrimage
Yasuyuki Yamada

A Change of Heart. Finding the Right Balance
Glenda Gillaspy

Pathways in Plant Biology
Glenn R. Hicks

A Career as a U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Reasearch Service Scientist
Eliot M. Herman

Small Events Lead to Bigger Things
Robert Cleland

And You May Ask Yourself, "How Did I Get Here?"
Peter V. Minorsky

Changing Careers Midstride. Surviving Away from the Bench and Loving It
Barry A. Palevitz

From Physics to Chemistry to Plant Biology
Jonathan D.G. Jones

A Long and Steep Ladder to the Top
Yukiko Sasaki

An Accidental Plant Biologist
Arthur W. Galston

Careers in Science. Look Before you Leap
Laurie G. Smith

How I Started in Science
Jim Peacock


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