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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

25% versus 10%

An interesting comment on the e-astronomer blog. I cannot speak to some of the things that our anonymous friend alludes to (though it's not the first time I have heard them) but the final paragraph really caught my eye:

Oh yes – I forgot – then when the heat gets a little intense and the natives start grumbling about 25% cuts to the grants line, let’s just change the statistics so that we count numbers of lost postdocs lost compared to 2005 figures rather than today – then, almost magically – golly - we turn the threatened cuts in numbers of postdocs from 25% to 10%. Great trick – wish I’d thought about doing that. Why not be even cleverer, and go back to 1905, and then tell us how many Postdocs we will have *increased* over the 108 years, that comes from the generous Government spun 13.6% increase in funding. I’m sure that this could lead to some ‘it’s even brighter than bright new future’ quotes based on this new viewpoint.

This is a point I know some colleagues have been grumbling about.

Spin, spin, spin. Some people must be getting dizzy there is so much spinning going on.

Let's not forget that those post-docs that have been filled since 2005 could still lose their jobs, why do they not count? This is like saying 'it is only because we have been successful in recruiting people that we are getting hurt. If we go to a time when we were less successful then we aren't being hurt as badly'.

Also if the CEO does not think that 10% is 'decimation' then he really needs to go and look that word up.

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