women and men in science etc

matkisso at opal.tufts.edu matkisso at opal.tufts.edu
Mon Dec 4 16:47:32 EST 1995

I think that Jen has some very good points.  I'd like to add a few comments.

I'm lucky to work for an advisor who has, essentially, made her own reality. 
She has simply decided to live and work as she feels is appropriate, and she'll
be the first to tell you that it's a difficult path.  The interesting part is
that although she appears to be the single, free agent, she has also supported
and raised a family of immigrants (in her home, so she knows what having
children is like), and worked in her community organizations.  Scientifically,
she's top notch, well respected, etc. etc.  She's quite a role model for having
a life and doing good science.

This brings me to my second comment.  The phrase, "letting your science suffer"
has been bandied about with the connotation that anything less than 70 hrs a
week equates to reduced output.  For many people this is not true.  I do better
work, more careful and _useful_ work, when I'm rested.  For me, staying to 11
to set up that reaction means that I'll likely screw it up.  I'll have to do it
again in the morning so it's better just to wait and do it once. 

Also, more hourse doesn't always equate to more work.  I love watching people
who come in at 8 or 9, work, have lunch, go work out, do the crossword while a
gel is running, etc., and complain that they go home late (at 9 or 10).  I 
usually go home at 6, but while that gel is running, I'm doing something
work-related (usually).

My last and most _important_ comment I want to make is this:  Child care is not
a "women's" issue anymore, but we seem to be the only ones who talk about it. 
If we could get _men_ to also work toward on-campus care, etc., it helps the 
issue be percieved as a human problem.  It helps turn it from "The women want
this" to "the Faculty want this."

I guess this is about $0.10 worth.  


M. S. AtKisson  Dept. Neuorscience  Tufts U. School of Med.  Chinatown, Boston 

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