About the ‘failed scientist’ trauma

Three journalists writing about science journalism, administration & support jobs

In recent years, we have seen ‘support’ jobs become more important at research organizations, including roles such as data stewards, research software engineers, scientific community managers and program managers. We have seen how a diversity of roles and contributions drives progress and success in research and innovation. We have come to see the sharp distinction between ‘academics’ and ‘support staff’ as a barrier to effective research because it discourages a culture of collaboration and appreciation of a diversity of roles and contributions. As professionals, we make a significant contribution alongside conventional academics….We work in partnership with researchers, contributing unique expertise and skills.

I think this is much more a trauma from the inside of journalists, department managers et al. than from “active scientists” aka academics who plan, analyse, publish and teach a continuous stream of new ideas. Without standing on the shoulders of others, also the most prolific scientist would fail immediately.