I read a really interesting and introspective article in Nature recently – “Seven Ages of the PhD” – documenting individual scientists’ experiences and insights as PhD students in the past 7 decades.
Generally, each decade has an overarching tone in one’s approach to research, a pervading mindset towards science and discovery, if you will. The contributors ranged from a British biologist who worked with Rosalind Franklin to a Chinese glaciologist working after the Cultural Revolution crushed Chinese academia to a Nigerian chemist whose home university did not have the necessary equipment to conduct her research.
It was wholly inspirational and I cannot wait to start my PhD 🙂
1950s: the age of formality
1960s: the age of independence
1970s: the age of innocence
1980s: the age of internationalism
1990s: the age of revolution
2000s: the age of perseverance
2010s: the age of communication
“A good PhD often raises more questions than it solves.”
— Raymond Gosling