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Long Hours

jmalberg jessica.malberg at yale.edu
Thu Apr 6 01:51:16 EST 2000

>         I think we're forgetting that there are many male scientists
> who aren't
> prepared to kill for their career, and who *do* value their families
> and the
> rest of their lives. Those men aren't always as successful as the
> barking,
> bloodthirsty hounds that you have been using as examples, but perhaps
> you're
> biased about who you want to compare yourself to... As a contrast to
> what the
> rest of you have said, most women my age that *I* know, who are
> heading for a
> scientific career, are actually some real geeks and goofballs who
> don't care
> too much about getting a life (they're my friends and I think they
> know that I
> don't mean to hurt their feelings, and I'm a geek myself). All the
> other
> (smart) girls who got a Ph.D. didn't even consider a career in
> academia.

I can't decide if this discussion is coming down to, 'if you want a life
you just can't get it in academia;  you have to give something up,
either career or family OR you need to defend yourself constantly that
you're not giving up either one'!!!
(or, and no offense to you, Ann, you need to defend yourself against the
perception that you are a complete geek for getting into science as a

I think that in *any* career, there will be a number of years where you
have to really put in the hours/effort to succeed.  Unfortunately, in
science, it seems to be that this type of life never comes to an end --
its more grants, more work, more grants, more work.  That may be one
reason why the career/family debate comes up with women in almost EVERY
stage of their career -- grad student, post=doc, Assoc. Prof, Asst.
Prof, Full Prof, Tenured Prof;  that is one of the reasons that , I
feel, younger women feel so discouraged about going into academia.  At
no point (that I can tell) does the system let you really, "take a
breath and relax";  it is completely up to you to force yourself to slow
down, take break, and enjoy life (which I personally fully advocate
doing).  And then you need to go back to defending yourself and your
work choices again.

I think "equality" is when we won't have to completely make
justifications for the choices we are making, or when men are
continually thinking of the career/family issues.

I know that similar issues come up in the business world;  what do these
people do?  How does it differ from what we can do? (I just got married,
and have no plans to have children, but the question of making time for
a family without having to give something up or be looked upon as "not
driven enough" is still an issue for me!)

Just my $0.02,


Jessica Malberg
Yale University, Dept. of Psychiatry
Post-doctoral Associate


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