School, career and children

Rachelle J. Bienstock rachelle at
Fri May 17 14:16:58 EST 1996

In the old days, i.e. 10 or more years ago, it was rare to find
a tenured female faculty member in physics, chemistry or biochemistry
and if there was one she was probably either single or divorced,
and if she was married, it was probably to another scientist and
she probably had no children.  Although, there are plenty of
exceptions to this - even in the "old days"...Rosalyn Yalow,
winner of the 1977 Nobel Prize in Medicine had a PhD in Physics
and 2 children (I'd have to check her biography to see where in
the process she had children...)

It depends on one's circumstances and situation whether or not
it is possible to "have it all" and how difficult it is...If
you are a grad. student or post doc in a high pressure lab where
everyone else works day and night and all weekend this is difficult
to do if one has a spouse and children...If you work in a more
low pressure situation where not everyone works weekends and nights
it is more feasible...It also depends how much support you get
from spouse and friends and family- are there people who will pick
up your kid from daycare if you need to work late or an experiment
goes overtime or the seminar ends at 5:22 and daycare closes at 5...

I didn't have children until way after my post doc and grad school
so I am more financially secure, but still have problems, like going
to conferences and you really want to leave your baby
for a week or more at a stretch?  It is never easy...

I knew many woman who had children in graduate school, and children
in their postdocs who were very successful...It all depends on 
the individual and their is never easy, just more
or less difficult depending on the individual...I think it depends
most on how strong and determined the individual is, and how much
they are willing to sacrifice time for themselves....

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