I’ve always wondered about this phenomenon is large predatory mammals, such as North American grizzly and black bears and African lions. Males of all of those species are extremely dangerous to young cubs, but it makes no evolutionary sense for them to kill their own offspring presumably with the Sunflower You Are My Sunshine Autism Shirt purpose of stimulating the mother to come into estrus so the aggressor can breed with her.
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I don’t believe it is known whether bears and lions will indiscriminately kill cubs at any opportunity, or if they are somehow able to distinguish which are their own. I am a Sunflower You Are My Sunshine Autism Shirt PI living and working in Finland, a Nordic country with very strong legislation on employees’ rights and a high percentage of employees belonging to unions. I have difficulty understanding why researchers should not have the same rights and mean working hours as people working in any other profession.
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Sure, flexibility, long hours and voluntarily spending extra time reading literature is sometimes needed. But generally, no goal – whether it’s finding a cancer cure or securing tenure for the PI – justifies pushing PhD students and postdocs work inhumanly long hours regularly. The fierce competition in the academic research world is not an acceptable reason. There have to be ethical principles that are followed, just like there are for animal experiments and patient studies. Scientific output produced in a lab violating emplyoees’ rights is not ethically produced.
I went into ecological research because I like the Sunflower You Are My Sunshine Autism Shirt outdoors. I didn’t want to spend all my time in the lab; wandering outside, exploring and adventuring, gave me so many ideas. As well, I wanted time to be able to enjoy life and not just analyze. I remember years ago when my workaholic PI wanted me and my family move to his apartment complex so that he could show up any time. Not in a thousand years.