On the Ethics of Grad Student Recruitment
A Provocative Question from a Reader
I recently wrote a couple posts drawing on the analogy that being an academic is like being both a detective and a lawyer, but at different moments in the research to publication process. Here are the posts in case you missed them:
When we collect information on our research topics, we are detectives, and when we communicate our findings to academic audiences, such as publishing, we are lawyers. Most of graduate school is spent studying how to construct arguments from the things that pique our curiosity.
A reader then posed this thought-provoking question in Office Hours:
I really liked the detective and lawyer research analogy. Graduate students are often recruited because they like being detectives (the detective part of research is fun), but learning to think like a lawyer is an altogether more arduous experience (it can take great effort to master this craft), and I think it is why some graduate students struggle. Often they are recruited without being aware that thinking like a lawyer is what's needed to be a successful academic (this was true for me). What are your thoughts on the ethics of this?