A career in science, possibly in an academic position, is the dream of almost every young scientist. On their way, young researchers naturally encounter questions concerning how scientific excellence is achieved and evaluated by peers. Being at an age when starting a family, pursuing a career in science and striving for a healthy work-life balance is often experienced as stressful, if not frustrating. Moreover, in academic positions, one is often additionally burdened with funding problems, teaching duties and heavy administrative tasks, which make a successful career in academic science a complex and often wearing process. Also, being too focused on an academic career, young scientists sometimes miss opportunities outside the academic world.
A healthy professional and/or academic environment with enthusiastic, appreciative colleagues and a mentor are a good start when facing these issues. The benefits of networks between young scientists and their students and mentors as well as among young scientists themselves are often solely regarded with respect to science, but they are rarely seen as a treasure of experiences about life as a scientist. The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting offers the perfect platform for this type of exchange.
In the panel discussion with laureates and young scientists, we will address some of the challenges when aiming for a career as a scientist.
- Niamh Kavanagh, University College Cork, Ireland
- Wolfgang Ketterle, Research Laboratory for Electronics, MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States of America
- William D. Phillips, Laser Cooling and Trapping Group, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), United States of America
- Donna Strickland, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Waterloo, Canada
- Maria Żurek, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, United States of America
- Alaina Levine, President, Quantum Success Solutions, United States of America