Mentoring worth a Mention

The journal Nature and the organisation NESTA have named this year’s “good mentors”.
Congratulations to the three from the UK (Godfrey Hewitt, UEA; Andrew McMichael, Univ. of Oxford; Steve Watson, Birmingham Univ. Med School) and the two from Oz (Tom Healy and Rachel Webster both of the Univ. of Melbourne).

I could have done with a few perhaps then I might not have been in the mess that I am now. Or perhaps I am stubborn and a poor mentee {sp.?}. My old Ph.D supervisor’s only bit of advice was to “never change, to be oneself”. Good advice, but a little less than constructive. He was but a mere spring chicken then though – 28 or 29. What did he know. That’s the problem when young postdocs get tenured positions and have several Ph.D students thrust upon them.

Perhaps in the future, when a National Research Staff Association gets properly off the ground, a network of mentors can be achieved (even if it includes some peer mentoring). Lets hope that eventually there is a requirement to provide evidence of good mentoring hard-wired into promotion mechanisms in Universities. That way only the good mentors get to be in the positions of power and influence.

Anyway Hail Good Mentors, few and far between and oft overlooked.

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