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So, I may have made a postdoc shortlist (the third I’ve made for sure since applying for postdocs last year). And I may have had a phone interview earlier this week.
Unfortunately I’ve only had one phone interview before and that experience was interesting at best. At times I lack a brain to mouth filter so I do recall referring to Janskys as “those obnoxious flux units infrared and radio astronomers use because they can’t use magnitudes” many years ago. Somehow however I got that job.
But I think this week the filter between my brain and mouth was lost again. When talking about the science I found interesting for the future, I was asked if I planned on following it up with JWST. My instant reply was that no, given the political situation with the budget overruns I’m not even counting on JWST flying. Shit. That was probably the wrong thing to say. But as it stands JWST is running billions over budget. It has/is going to be removed from the astrophysics division so it can be managed separately to help stem the flow of cash circling the drain. Ordinarily I’d say Yay JWST, but when some of the biggest supporters in Congress start to have issues with the cost overruns, I can’t help but be cautious when thinking of long term plans for the future.
And I’m kicking myself because there was other discussion about how this professor is the only one in *subfield* at this institution. I wasn’t sure if it was politically incorrect to correct them, but they were very wrong, there are people in a partner department and some others in the same department running on soft money that do some complimentary work, some of whom I see every year at the annual conferences and know on sight. In this case I held my tongue and I wonder if I should have.
But. . . now is the time for waiting. They mentioned maybe an offer this week, but nothing is on the rumor mill and it’s a holiday so I wouldn’t be surprised if all the uni admin types needed to make any sort of offer were already out until the new year. But until them I have at least one other postdoc application to churn out and a newer, better paper draft of paper #4 of my dissertation to write.