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Postdocs Earning $76,000

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Postdocs Earning $76,000

Postby Dave Jensen » Fri Oct 22, 2004 2:08 pm

As noted in this forum several days ago, a Seattle Times article featured an institution in Seattle that according to author Luke Timmerman was "paying postdoctoral scientists up to $76,000" Upon further checking (with the employer HR department directly) I found that this is the salary paid to senior scientists, not postdocs. They pay their postdocs "per NIH recommendations."

It is amazing how the media can make mistakes that mislead young scientists about what their wage possibilities may be in their training years.

Have you seen any other media gaffes like this? Post them here! I recall one edition of the "100 Best Jobs" guidebook which stated that the Biologist was a top job, and that the average salary for all degrees was $93,000 . . .

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Postdocs Earning $76,000

Postby Andrew » Fri Oct 22, 2004 6:27 pm

"Have you seen any other media gaffes like this? Post them here!" I get this feeling almost everytime I read an article about science in the newspaper. I will try to paraphrase the editorial from Contract Pharma on a speech given by Michael Crichton a few months ago:

"You read an article about a subject you know well and realize the author has absolutely no grasp of either the facts or the issues. Sometimes the story has cause and effect reversed; I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. The paper's full of them. You read with exasperation and amusement at the multiple errors in the story and then turn the page and read the rest of the paper as if the stories on Palestine were somehow more accurate than the nonsense you just read about your field. You read as if the rest of the paper was worth reading when it almost certainly is not.

This is known as the Gell-Mann amnesia effect. It does not hold in other arenas of life. In ordinary life, if someone consistently lies or exaggerates to you, you soon learn to discount everything they say. In law there is the doctrine of falus in uno, falus in omnibus (you can discount a witnesses' entire testimony on the basis of a single lie). Where the media is concerned, we turn the page and forget what we know. The only possible explanation for this is amnesia.

Smart guy this Crichton"
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Postdocs Earning $76,000

Postby K Seth » Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:06 pm

Absolutely Andrew-

But, a friend of mine had a postdoc position for 5 years, @ $65,000/yr. The one and only case that I know.
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Postdocs Earning $76,000

Postby Dave Jensen » Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:33 pm

Hi K,

My guess is that the company couldn't put a Research Scientist title on that job because they had a hiring freeze. They could hire "Postdocs" but they couldn't hire scientists. Could this be the case? I've never heard of such payment for a PDoc position,

Dave
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Postdocs Earning $76,000

Postby Andrew » Mon Oct 25, 2004 10:37 pm

There are several companies which hire postdocs at the regular wage scale. Schering-Plough was one of them a few years ago. A postdoc there was paid as an entry PhD level job. I'm sure there are many others.
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