I’m curious: What do ya’ll think is the bit of professional astronomy that most needs to be changed? Regardless of government funding levels, is there one thing that’s holding us back from being the best astronomers we can be more than others? What’s our greatest weakness? Is it the disconnect between course work (theory) and practical astronomy (programming)? Disconnect between telescope time and funding? Not enough support for career tracks other than academia? Not enough open access to results? Competitive culture? Not competitive enough? If there was one thing you could change about our culture and traditions that would have the biggest impact on making astronomy more productive as a whole and an even better career choice than it is now, what would it be?
These questions by Kelle Cruz over on Astrobetter have sparked a pretty lively discussion, about careers, money, bad behaviour, and short-termism in science.
I was particularly piqued by one commenter, who seems to suggest that we shouldn’t make astronomy too attractive a career, as there are too many of us already. “We are all in it for the thrills of science.” Right. (In fairness, he does go on to mitigate the statement. But still.)
Got a bee in you bonnet? Go comment here.