Would part-time science help?

Pita Enriquez Harris enriquez at immsvr.jr2.ox.ac.uk
Tue Dec 12 07:09:18 EST 1995

I wrote;
> >There are surely enough of us who want don't want to be
> > ego-maniacs, who want a normal life, with time for ourselves
> > and our kids, to pressurise the various interested parties into
> > accepting a change in the way scientist 
> >live. Why SHOULD we have to give up our work? Why SHOULD we allow the 
> >field to be dominated by the kind of people we all know run things? Why 
> >SHOULD we have to become like that if we want to succeed?
And Susan replied;

> Sadly, because in the competitive '90s, there are many other people
> who will if we dont.  Because faculty positions get hundreds of
> applicants. And thus there are people willing to do anything to
> get that job and do their work.
> I'm not defending it, mind you, but that's how I see it....

I know what you mean. And in practice I'm guilty of the same action. But 
what we are in fact doing, by aquiescing; is cooperating in our own 
exploitation. It's like coalminers accepting that they have to work in 
terrible conditions for stupidly long shifts, because if there will 
always be someone else willing to do the job, then they feel there's no 
real choice. 

Goodness knows I'm not a socialist. But maybe unions had some use after 
all? Can anyone imagine what life would be like if we had strong unions 
which prevented anyone working more than 50 hours per week? Mind you,if the 
social chapter of the Masstricht Treaty is implemented it will be illegal 
for anyone to work over 40 hours per week! (in any EU countries which do 
implement it)  Of course, scientists will be expected to ignore that.


Dr. Pita Enriquez Harris             
Nuffield Department of Medicine
Oxford Radcliffe Hospital                        

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