Professors in STEM fields that I have worked with seem like very serious people. They are in a seemingly never-ending rat race to study past literature, achieve new results, publish, try to get funding, and run a lab / supervise undergrads or PhD students. It seems that they are holding back any personalities that they might have, and that showing, say, some humor might actually harm the perception of them as good scientists.

This observation alone, I think, is the dealbreaker for me, in terms of spending a lifetime in academia and chasing glory as a professor. I think the costs of becoming a prominent researcher are too great. I rather work in industry and actually be able to have a sense of humor without being perceived as “weaker”. I want to go out for beers after work at some fancy rooftop bar. I want to go to nightclubs once in awhile and dance with ladies. As an academic, I wouldn’t be able to do any of that, and life’s going to pass me by quickly, and I will soon be an aged scientist. I don’t think it’s worth it.

Is there a general agreement that professors in STEM feel suppressed?

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