Santa Fe, New Mexico
4 June 2008
I recently finished your book and wanted to express my appreciation for your work. I am an entomologist with a grad student story similar to yours (they graduated me to get rid of me too) and I walked out on the academic jobs that I had trained for all those years -- and never looked back. Many of my close friends have similar stories.
I wonder why you do not recommend becoming an independent professional in your book. I work as a freelance entomologist and am able to give the kind of advice I think is best and think about nature in a way that is highly unacceptable in the mainstream academic biological community.
I also teach part time at St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico -- which is better than most of the institutions you criticize, but it has its own set of problems. It is amazing what can happen when you stand up to the system. I refused to work full time ever under any circumstances and when they said that I could not get tenure as a part time person, I suggested they fire me. They eventually did give me tenure, paving the way for others to follow the same path!
If you are interested, check out my book, written with philosopher Eric Ramsey, called Leaving Us To Wonder. It is a critique of scientism, especially in its guise of sociobiology and a call to real philosophical thought about our lives.
Thanks again for your work.