JFRUGOLI at BIO.TAMU.EDU
Tue Aug 12 12:19:49 EST 1997
Where you are DOES make a difference. I orginally come from the Boston
area. A 1 bedroom apartment, in a dangerous area of Boston, is going to
cost you AT LEAST $500 a month, plus utilities. Here in College
Station, you can get a two bedroom apt in a gated complex, complete with
pool, hot tub, cable TV and exercise equipment for the same moeny.
There's a recent grad of our lab who rented a full utilities one bedroom
apartment for the princely sum of $75 amonth. Try finding a room in
Boston for that! And having payed both heat bills in Vermont and AC in
Texas, it's much cheaper to air condition a 3 bedroom house than heat a
1 bedroom apt (over $1000 a year cheaper) because of the exceedingly low
electricity rates in the South. Of course, if you want culture, I'd
choose Boston anyday, but that's an inate bias of my upbringing.
The point is, while $17,000 a year is fine here in TX (it's nice to know
that a PhD gets you make a few thousand more a year than the lab
technician who graduated with a BS in June :), it's probably equivalent
to 30K in DC. But if you live in Boston, New York, California, to name
a few, you'd probably need the 30K, and an NIH postdoc is going to
Idea? The military has a housing cost index for each base, so that
while the housing cost allowance for being stationed at different bases
is different, it's always the same % of the actual cost of finding a
place to live in the area. This makes it fair for everyone. How about
the same kind of thing for federal grants that fund post-docs?
It sounds very noble to say we all do science for the love of it, but
sending two kids to college this year has brought me up against the
harsh reality that bills have to be paid, so I don't feel I'm not a true
scientist because I care about feeding my family. (Many would and have
argued that if I REALLY cared about feeding my family, I wouldn't be in
this line of work. Sometimes I think they have a point.
I've never met a post-doc who lived extravegantly, or a junior
professor at a small institution, for that matter. If you get in bills
over your head trying to live as a post-doc the present average of 4
years or so, you're not going to get out with the paycheck you make on
your first job. Why are we afraid to say our work is worth more?
Lawyers and doctors don't have problems asking for more money-why do
academic scientists, especially women? Are we so happy to be at the
party that we don't dare stir things up by asking for a living wage?
I apologize in advance if this post is a bit inflammatory, but I'm in
one of those moods...manybe it'll spur discussion!
visiting grad student at
Texas A&M University
Department of Biological Sciences
College Station, TX 77843
"Evil is best defined as militant ignorance."
Dr. M. Scott Peck
More information about the Womenbio