professionalism, women, and Oprah! (looonnngggg)

Linnea Ista lkista at UNM.EDU
Thu Jan 2 10:32:15 EST 1997


On Thu, 19 Dec 1996, Susan Jane Hogarth wrote:

> ktlee+ at pitt.edu wrote:
> >...
> > Maybe part of the problem is the way we categorize scientists.  Why is
> > it that we consider techs and scientists with enormous teaching loads,
> > second string?  
> 
> Probably because they are not doing the main creative work of science.
> This is the same reason that we don't know the name of any of the
> artisans in (for example) Michelangelo's workshop, even though they
> almost certainly did much of the work. I'm not sure why this is seen as
> such a harsh concept. It seems like some people want the convenience of
> an 8-5 job with no writing or funding responsibilities, but want to be
> called scientists too.

Sorry- I have to respond to this one! My official position in this 
laboratory is "Lab Supervisor" and because I have an MS instead of a 
PhD I am often considered a tech. I am in charge of an entire project in 
this laboratory. I work  at least 10 hours a day and come in many weekends 
(comparable to the post-docs in the lab and certainly more hours than the 
grad students). I design the experiments, collect and interpret the data. 
I train students. I write my own papers. I help write 
grants (I would write my own, but not having a PhD, I cannot). I contribute 
just as much to the creative aspects of the research as anyone, and I consider
myself just as much of a scientist as anyone in the group (as does my boss,
the PI). I am *doing* science after all, I am just a little less involved 
in the administrivia of working in an academic institution.

One of my best friends from grad school was in a similat position. Please 
consider this carefully before you paint all "techs" with the same 
dismisive brush!

Linnea



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