I'm new here, so I hope my question fits in:
I am trying to decide where I should do my master thesis, and since I am considering an academic career, this could be a fist step towards the field I will finally end up working. With my education up to now, there are two fields, where I would fit in, and that's where my problem begins:
The one field I find far more interesting seems to be kind of "Out of fashion" (or at a dead end?) with lots of publications from the 80ies and 90ies, and nothing that looks to me like a big advance since then. But of course that's just my un-informed impression, and I don't know how far I can trust that... I tried to ask a professor working in the field, whether he thinks, there will be advances in the future, but I formulated my question very carefully, since I didn't want it to sound like "is your area of research dead?", so I am not sure, if he did understand, what I want to ask and shrugged it off, if he was personally offended, or if he didn't understand the question at all.*
Dear people with experience in the academic world, how could I find out, whether a field has a future or not?
Is it presumptious to make these considerations as a student?
If my University largely reduces the funding of research projects on that field, is it a sign that I should forget about it?
If you were a professor/postdoc etc. in a field that has already seen its best days, would you tell a prospective student?
Does it even happen, that a field "runs down" ? And if, why? What does it look like for the people still working there?
How was it for you, how did you weigh the interestingness of the field against future job prospects, when deciding for a specialization?
If that makes a difference: Both fields I could choose are in the area of Biomedical Engineering/ Biochemistry - I do not want to name the field, because I don't want to be "the idiot that said xy was dead", and I don't want to offend anyone working on it. Also answers to my questions would be more helpful for me than opinions on the specific field.
Thanks a lot & sorry for the long wall-of-text-ish question ! - NewBie
*You get an idea how good I am with that kind of thing. Please help me.