Non-Fiction Books:

You Must Be Very Intelligent

The PhD Delusion


Paperback / softback

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You Must Be Very Intelligent by Karin Bodewits
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You Must be Very Intelligent is the author's account of studying for a PhD in a modern, successful university. Part-memoir and part-expose, this book is highly entertaining and unusually revealing about the dubious morality and desperate behaviour which underpins competition in twenty-first century academia. This witty, warts-and-all account of Bodewits' years as a PhD student in the august University of Edinburgh is full of success and failure, passion and pathos, insight, farce and warm-hearted disillusionment. She describes a world of collaboration and backstabbing; nefarious financing and wasted genius; cosmopolitan dreamers and discoveries that might just change the world... Is this a smart people's world or a drip can of weird species? Modern academia is certainly darker and stranger than one might suspect... This book will put a wry, knowing smile on the faces of former researchers. And it is a cautionary parable for innocents who still believe that lofty academia is erected upon moral high ground...

Author Biography

I was born April, 1983, in a small village in the economically dead North East of the Netherlands. As a child I mainly caught frogs and leapt over ditches. When life became meaningful (though not necessarily better), I dreamt about travelling the world as a field biologist. At the age of seventeen, I swapped village life for a university town 20 miles up the road. I matriculated at the University of Groningen and studied biology. One of the first-year courses entailed sitting for hours in dreary drizzle to watch geese pick grass. Unfortunately, I felt slightly bored and wet and steered my studies towards microbiology which, thankfully, entailed a roof over my head during experiments. Six amiable years later, blurred by pub visits and lengthy `work' sojourns in China and Spain, I graduated with an MSc in molecular biology and was increasingly gripped by science. Having acquired a taste for travel and cultural enrichment, and perhaps a bizarre yearning to return to drizzle, I moved to the wonderful, historic city of Edinburgh, capital of Scotland, to start my PhD. Despite a ludicrous intake of Irn Bru (a chemical drink unique to Scotland) along with mountainous amounts of fried pizza and dubious frat-ish parties, I successfully defended my thesis in 2011. Feeling like a lost soul, I backpacked round South America, not knowing what would or should come next. But something had to, because I ran out of money, so I started my first `real' job, at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. Having re-stocked my pocket, and feeling sufficiently proficient in the academic world, I quit a year later. In 2012, I co-founded the company NaturalScience.Careers. In 2015, I published my first book (a career guide for female natural scientists). < These days, I give soft skill and career seminars to young scientists, and I'm often invited to speak at natural science events. I write short stories, career columns and opinion pieces for magazines like Chemistry World, Naturejobs, Laborjournal and Nachrichen aus der Chemie. With my partner Philipp and our two sons, I live in Munich, where I spend much time wondering what to do next. You can find me on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Release date NZ
July 9th, 2017
Country of Publication
1st ed. 2017
20 Illustrations, black and white; XIV, 339 p. 20 illus.
Springer International Publishing AG
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