Career motivations

matkisso at opal.tufts.edu matkisso at opal.tufts.edu
Wed Nov 27 15:01:37 EST 1996


In article <EE9562157F at bio.tamu.edu>, JFRUGOLI at BIO.TAMU.EDU writes:
> 
> 
> Someone in this newsgroup once said you should only pursue a science career 
> if you can't imagine yourself doing anything else.  I can imagine myself 
> doing lots of things.  But isn't that "not doing anything else" buying into 
> the narrowly-focused heirachy of "BIG SCIENCE" being deplored in the 
> references thread?

I was quoting my advisor when I wrote that.  We were discussing whether or not
I would leave the lab (my choice, not hers -- I was unhappy about the kind
of person I thought I would have to turn into to succeed).  I think her point
was that you _have_ to love this to do it.  No one gives you money unless you
are constantly proving your worth.  Whether we like the standards of 'worth' or
not, they are there, and defined for us in terms of pulications, etc. etc.

This does NOT mean that she subscribes to the notion of Science as a Holy Order
that you must 'dedicate' yourself to.  It's her observation (putting words in
her mouth) that if you behave in that sort of fashion, your chances of long-
term success go up.  

It is through watching her that I realized that I _don't_ have to be a jerk. 
She certainly isn't.  She's extremely successful, although not one of the 
old-boy big players, in a competetive field she essentially founded.

I don't mean to try and tell you that certain aspects of the system don't
stink.  They do.  Where I can, by action or argument, I work to change them
(like piping up when someone says 'man', "How 'bout humans?  Unless you mean
just males.")

I still read novels (though many fewer).  I still dig in the dirt (though less
than I'd like).  I'm starting up a new band _and_ producing my brother's CD. 
And I'm getting work done.  Work takes priority, but I pay attention to
diminishing returns.

My 0.02				Peg.



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