A reader writes in: "what should a student or early career researcher do when someone with a permanent position and recognition steals some of her unpublished ideas (for example, ideas from her thesis) without literally plagiarizing them?"
Great question. I've heard multiple stories of this happening to early-career people. In fact, I saw someone report such a story on social media just the other day. In that case, it was a senior member of the profession reporting what happened to them earlier in their career, noting that they felt powerless to do anything about it and how it negatively affected their career prospects (evidently, the person and the person who stole their ideas both published on the topic, but the person who stole the idea has reaped nearly all of the credit for it).
Given that I have heard more than a few stories about this sort of thing, it seems like an important issue to address. What can an early-career person do in cases like this? And what, if anything, should they do? Also, what if it happens to a non-early career person? Is how they should handle it relevantly different?