The #FOR community is named Science People of the year

I am ecstatic. For real this is amazing! An awesome achievement. We, the Future of Research community, were named  ScienceCareers People of the Year!

Oh yeah! This feels SOOOOO good. All of use put tonnes of payless volunteered hours in FOR and other important projects aimed at improving the academic enterprise. ScienceCareers put it nicely

“Each December, Science Careers names a “Person of the Year” to recognize those who have made especially significant and sustained contributions to improving the lot of early-career scientists. Up to now, each year’s honoree has been a senior academic figure occupying a prestigious post. This year’s choice, by contrast, is plural; of a different generation; and at the opposite end of the academic status ladder. For their dedicated, creative, and expanding efforts to empower early-career and aspiring scientists with knowledge and awareness so that they can take control of their futures and help bring needed change to the scientific enterprise, we are delighted to name the activists of the Future of Research (FOR) movement as the 2015 Science Careers People of the Year.”

It is great to see an actual community effort by young upcoming early career academics rewarded by an world renowned science stable. Sometimes it simply feels good to get some back patting from the elite. Clearly, FOR got people active and the bigger academic community talking about issues important to the academic enterprise (e.g. diversity). We also create community by bringing together people with the same interested in improving our  and other peoples’ lives. I see this award not only as a recognition of past achievements but as support of our future aspirations. Folks believe that change is possible and there is a opening in history to make things happen. Hopefully FOR will become a stable itself throwout our careers and I meet folks again.

Thanks to each of the many countless people that make this happen.

On a personal note, this really speaks to my heart and soul, because the award does not single out an individual established person but a community. Only by working together science progresses, this is true within the lab and outside. This recognition is soothing to my soul. Like many other I met over the years [15+], I have been volunteering for all sorts of community actions within and outside of academia for quiet a bit. Many of us spend countless hours on planes, on hangouts, in meetings… organizing events that are not really accounted for in the status quo career progression pathways. Yet we do it because we believe in it. We think it makes our communities a better place.  While seeing things we created happening and community forming we often get wet handshakes and some muttered ‘well done’. So having the elite say “Excellent Job!” loud and in the open is nice!

Anyways, I am sure many of us would keep on doing our projects nonetheless. Yet recognition goes a long long long way!

 

P.S.: This early-mid career conference at the Australian National University is our next local project spanning the globe.

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