This week’s Physics and Astronomy Colloquium is on Thursday, September 7, 2017, at 4:00 PM, in Stevenson Center 4327*.
*Reception at 3:30 PM | Stevenson Center 6333
Speaker information and topic below:
(Associate Vice President for Research, Professor of Biochemistry, Kennesaw State University)
Being Crash Davis Ain’t So Bad: Life in the Science Minor Leagues
In the 1988 baseball masterpiece, Bull Durham, Crash Davis is a career minor-league catcher tasked with preparing pitching prospect Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh for the major leagues. Davis, an excellent older player who experienced only one brief call-up to “The Show,” is frustrated about being relegated to class A ball with the Durham Bulls in the twilight of his career. He ends the film setting the career minor league home run record before retiring. Seemingly every graduate student sets out to land a tenure-track job at a Research 1 university. But just like professional baseball players, the vast majority simply won’t make it to The Show. In this talk, a career ‘minor league’ scientist reviews his career path, critically reviewing the roles of talent, luck, ambition and choices have played. Discussion of academic career options beyond R1s will highlight possibilities for serious research programs at primarily undergraduate universities, the benefits of avoiding the R1 tenure grind and the fulfillment to be found in merely staying in the game. Practical advice to those considering applying for undergraduate institution jobs will precede QA. Attendees will be asked to ponder that while Nuke might make it to the majors, Crash gets the girl. And that (particularly when it’s Susan Sarandon) ain’t so bad.