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Bulletin 215: Internships, fellowships available

February 4, 2016

Dear friends –

I want to keep this bulletin to a single subject.

We are pleased to announce a limited number of openings this year for internships and, for applicants with relevant academic or work experience, fellowships. We are looking for Interns and Fellows in our long-standing nuclear disarmament program as well as in a new outreach program in combating global warming.

Internships and fellowships require a minimum commitment of three months and will be based at the main Study Group office in Albuquerque, NM. Internships and fellowships can be extended by mutual agreement. Room and board will be provided either on-site or nearby, for non-local applicants. A stipend of $500/month is available for U.S. citizens and holders of work visas, for both Interns and Fellows.

Qualified internship candidates will have completed at least an undergraduate degree. Fellows will have relevant work experience in addition to academic training. Candidates of all adult ages are encouraged to apply.

Interns will gain not just experience in nuclear weapons issues but also experience, knowledge, and skills relevant to citizen policy intervention more generally. Fellows will have greater responsibilities, commensurate with experience.

For further program details and questions of support please see this printable flyer.

If you think you might be interested, please send a letter of application explaining why you are interested, plus a resume or curriculum vitae, plus references, to Greg Mello, Executive Director, Los Alamos Study Group.

We hope some of you who have known us and our work for a long time will be headhunters for our tribe. The potential to accomplish great things is quite real, and we have a pretty good time. As we say on the flyer,

The Study Group’s husband-wife staff team, together with our supportive, experienced board of directors, provides balance, maturity, and extensive activist and technical experience. The working environment is warm and focused.

Also, and to be very blunt, you can learn things here that are hard to pick up at Ivy League schools.

In this regard, some of you may be interested in an article yesterday quoting Marc Edwards, a civil engineering professor at Virginia Tech (“Professor Who Exposed Flint Crisis Says Greed Has Killed Public Science; academic pressure and financial motives [have] prohibited scientists from asking important questions,” Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams, February 03, 2016; the original interview was in the Chronicle of Higher Education).

I am very concerned about the culture of academia in this country and the perverse incentives that are given to young faculty. The pressures to get funding are just extraordinary. We’re all on this hedonistic treadmill — pursuing funding, pursuing fame, pursuing [academic citations] – and the idea of science as a public good is being lost.

This is something that I’m upset about deeply. I’ve kind of dedicated my career to try to raise awareness about this. I’m losing a lot of friends. People don’t want to hear this.

…In Flint the agencies paid to protect these people weren’t solving the problem. They were the problem.

…I don’t blame anyone, because I know the culture of academia. You are your funding network as a professor. You can destroy that network that took you 25 years to build with one word. I’ve done it. When was the last time you heard anyone in academia publicly criticize a funding agency, no matter how outrageous their behavior? We just don’t do these things.

If an environmental injustice is occurring, someone in a government agency is not doing their job. Everyone we wanted to partner said, Well, this sounds really cool, but we want to work with the government. We want to work with the city. And I’m like, You’re living in a fantasy land, because these people are the problem.

The need is critical, not least because Americans, from the highest federal policymakers to journalists and political leaders, must work in – and if possible through – a fog of misinformation and propaganda about some very serious things. Veteran journalist Robert Parry calls this the “crisis of misinformation,” and it’s getting “more and more dangerous. On issues from foreign policy to the economy, almost none of the candidates in the [2016 presidential] race appears to be addressing the real world.”

Past interns and fellows have gone on to positions in journalism, government, law and medicine, the United Nations, and non-governmental organizations. Some we’d rather have kept around if we could!

That’s it for today.

Best,

Greg Mello, for the Los Alamos Study Group


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