Susy Gage is a successful academic who hasn't waited until retirement to write fiction. Her books tell the story of science in the trenches, where only 1-2% of PhDs eventually get faculty jobs and the rest often linger as "unstable intermediates" (postdocs and worse) for decades. Those lucky enough to become assistant professors battle a winner-takes-all system where a few lions divide billions of federal funds and rarely ask the lambs what's for dinner. Add to this an increasing emphasis on producing "real" results right away, where "real"--even for physicists and chemists--usually means a cure for a high-profile disease, and you have a nice recipe for data falsification and theft, fraud, harrassment, and sometimes even murder.
If you want to see scientific sausage-making at its worst, start with the first book in the series, A Slow Cold Death. Has a frustrated postdoc finally snapped and started picking off physics professors one by one... or is something even more sinister afoot?
If you're interested in why people go abroad to get untested treatments to cure their diseases or even just to get beautiful, then Not Easy Being Green is for you. The product of a collaboration with an innovator in the beauty industry, the book gives a peek into the strange world of quasi-legal medicine. As a bonus, it stars the 2008 Nobel Prize-winning molecule, Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). Someday we'll all be making green mice in our garages.
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