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    fred flintstone said:

    Nick – I agree that science careers need urgent reform.
    But you are proposing something that is very, very expensive. Proper remuneration of PhD students would cost maybe double. But as you know, neither the UK nor the US government is going to give us much more cash. So paying double would mean half the number of PhD students. Are you happy with that? Would you be happy with it if you were someone who didn’t get a PhD place as a result?
    (for the record – I would be happy – but you need to know what you’re asking for…)
    As for permanent contracts – one of those costs a pile, and if someone gives you one now, nobody else can spend any of that money till you retire in 40+ years. So one permanent contract for you probably takes up enough money for something like 3 postdocs, for ages and ages. Would you be OK with not getting a job because someone else had been given one the year before?
    (I’m not so sure about this, I would like to see a better mix of permanent and short-term contracts, but even that would still cost a lot of aspiring scientists their chance of a job)