A while ago I read a post about semi-alternative careers for scientists. One comment stood out:

(On July 16, 2009, I asked for volunteers with science degrees and non-academic jobs who would be willing to be interviewed about their careers paths, with the goal of providing young scientists with more information about career options beyond the pursuit of a tenure-track faculty job that is too often assumed as a default. This post is one of those interviews, giving the responses of Alric, a veterinary pathologist at a drug company)

1) What is your non-academic job?

I am toxicologic veterinary pathologist and work at a contract research organization. We use animal models to evaluate the possible toxicity of drugs in development by pharmaceutical or biotech companies. The main goal is to determine if, and at what dose level, a drug is safe.

8 ) What’s the most important thing you learned from science?

That reality is independent of our wishful thinking or what bring us comfort. Let the data take you to the most probable conclusion even if you don’t like it or appears to not be beneficial. In the end you’ll be better off.

The last paragraph is spot on. I wish more people thought in that way.