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Science (mag) family/career

Megan Brown mbrown at fred
Tue Jan 14 15:46:00 EST 1997

Science magazine online has a feature on the web right now, called
: > "Balancing Family and Career"
Jane Hogarth (sjhogart at unity.ncsu.edu) wrote:
: Deb Britt wrote:
: > 
: > Science magazine online has a feature on the web right now, called
: > "Balancing Family and Career" (http://www.nextwave.org/balance.htm), that
: > I checked out yesterday.  They presented four essays, written by
: > scientists, on how they balance family with career. 

: I haven't read it, so keep that in mind through my comments.

: > When I first saw this (Science magazine's online feature on "Balancing
: > Family and Career": http://www.nextwave.org/balance.htm), I
: > thought "great! let's see how other people do
: > it!", but when I
: > read the essays I was initially disappointed, and the more I think about
: > it, angry.  The writings are by:  a dual-career couple (no mention of
: > children); a male assistant prof. who takes an active role in parenting; a
: > male postdoc who claims he spends time with his kids, but also mentions he
: > works "11+ hours a day and weekends" (maybe he never sleeps!); and a woman
: > postdoc who had a baby, and now says she does not want to be the head of a
: > lab, but will take a "permanent postdoc" position.
: > 
: > What is the message here??  That a man can be a father and have a
: > successful career as a scientist, but that a woman who becomes a mother
: > must down-shift her ambition, and forget about reaching full professor (or
: > the equivalent in industry)?!?  Does this mean that Science magazine could
: > not find one woman scientist who has children but did not give up her
: > career goals? 

: Were they "looking" for women who hadn't given up their goals, or were
: they trying to describe a "most common scenario"? Maybe it wasn't their
: intent to write an inspirational story, but instead describe "typical"
: scenarios... 

Is working as a permanent postdoc "a most common scenario"? I'm interested
in just how typical that is. It certainly seems people (both men and
women) are postdocs for longer now than back in the 80s. Does anyone have
any figures on how many scientists become permanent postdocs?



Megan Brown
mbrown at fred.fhcrc.org
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Seattle, Washington

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