To be fair, it always was a ‘thing’, but now that The Future of Research has made it official by becoming a fully-fledged non-profit organization, it’s now really a ‘Thing’ (with a big T). This is no small feat for a group that started out as a loosely-knit assembly of grassroots activists who share a common interest in improving things for academic researchers. In only three years, they have built both national and international recognition for their movement. They were named 2015 People of the Year by Science Careers, as well as landing a 2-year, $300,000 grant from the Open Philanthropy Project, to help them in their work in assisting junior scientists in grassroots efforts to change science policy.
So congratulations to the Future of Research on becoming a Thing with a big T. Anyone who cares about the future of academic research and the working conditions and job prospects of those who pursue careers in it, should consider joining this very important conversation that the Future of Research has started.
As history has taught us over and over, systems that are broken, dysfunctional and unfair, rarely if ever transform or dismantle themselves from the top down, but rather, from the bottom up. Those who benefit the most from such systems are also usually its gatekeepers, and they will generally strive (consciously or unconsciously) to preserve it since they potentially have the most to lose from changing it. This is precisely why grassroots organizations like The Future of Research are so important as instruments of social change.
© The Digital Biologist