The truth about the scientific field is it’s segregated, disjointed and impersonal. We spend years in higher education to end up widely on our own to figure out our career path. We can cold call or blindly send emails in hopes of connecting to someone for help; a time consuming and often fruitless endeavour. This has been the predominant advice I’ve been given in every career development event I’ve attended. And the elusive “I got this position because I knew someone at the company/school.” This is why I created The Social Scientist.
We are a networking and outreach community of scientific professionals. Our volunteers are dedicating their time to answer questions that will benefit your interests, including a view of their work, environment and what it took for them to get there. We want to provide an accessible and engaging atmosphere to help both scientist and science enthusiasts looking for guidance. From the high school student interested in science but unsure where to start, to the assistant professor on tenure track, we want to provide support for all those in the scientific community.
The idea of The Social Scientist came from frustrations at my first scientific meeting as a postdoctoral fellow. Attending this meeting, outside my neuroscience field, I knew I needed to put myself out there to meet other science professionals for networking, possible collaborations, and of course to talk about my work. I attended multiple networking and career development events that all promised worthwhile advice and advantageous meetings. The most I learned from these events was again to cold call professionals for advancing your career and how runner-crazed Bostonians are (so many exercise fanatics that love to talk about exercise!). I thought about how the best advice I’ve received are from my friends and colleagues. We need to know the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly when talking about our work and work environment. Real advice from real experiences and honest feedback. I thought, why can’t these people give their advice to others? That’s when I reached out to these same friends and colleagues to see if they were interested in being a part of my initiative, and they were more than happy to help.
“thesocialscientist.org is a wonderful brainchild, which allows facilitated communication and assistance among scientists of several generations.”
Dr. Robert P Weinberg, after speaking to a few of our volunteers.
Our site recently went live in August 2018. We have a growing community of science volunteers in the fields of academia, industry, writing/publishing, US government, and alternative careers. But we need your help to reach our aspiration of obtaining a global community of volunteers. A few minutes of your time is all it takes to help an inquirer! We are actively looking for enthusiastic volunteers with a Bachelor’s degree and above. Not only will you be giving back by helping both prospective and current science professionals, you can also tell the world this is a problem in our scientific community that you are committed to improve.
We have continued to receive overwhelming positive feedback, but being a new initiative has its hurdles. If you’re interested, please share so we can continue to outreach and help the scientific community.