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Cartoon_Cat wrote

I was an assistant in a study on mental health in a relatively impoverished area of London. The researchers running the study talked about the participants like scum because they were only there for the £20... The participants (almost exclusively black) had travelled there, volunteered their time for 2 hours, given blood samples and been subject to a battery of psychmetric testing and all they walked away with was £20... I withdrew my support after one day.

The researchers would barely make eye contact unless they had to. At the time I was an awkward kid and wasn't great at chatting but even I could see it was painful.

Anyway I guess I'm saying your joke isn't far from the truth - academia is a middle-class battleground and poor people are often used as fodder to further researchers' career goals.