Working hard

Patricia S. Bowne pbowne at
Sat Mar 1 10:15:17 EST 1997

I can see Susan's point that a graduate student
position is not a 'job' and therefore shouldn't
be expected to clock in at 40 hours a week. I also
know from observation that your average research
scientist puts in a lot more than 40 hours a week.

But, SHOULD THEY? Why do we accept that scientists
just naturally are going to put in 60-80+ hours a
week? Why do we train our grad students to expect
this from themselves and others, when we all know
it's a strike against women in the lab, at least as
long as women expect to put in a lot of their time
maintaining families?

This 'do whatever it takes' attitude is one of the reasons
so many women become techs instead of going on to be
PIs; it was designed in a period when the scientist
was assumed to be a man with a wife at home taking
care of the kids. How long are we going to
continue to buy into it?

I usually have no time for Sandra Harding, but she does
have a good point when she writes that most working
scientists are treated like overworked peons and the
image of scientist-as-dedicated-hero serves in part
to prevent them from doing anything about it!

Pat Bowne

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