Sabine Dippel sabine at
Tue Mar 11 11:47:03 EST 1997

In article <199703111447.IAA11615 at>, linden at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU 
(linden higgins) writes:
|> Sigh.  This is not a spam, but just another point of view. It just seems
|> that all this talk of long hours & intense work has lost sight of one of
|> the (often) main complaints of women in the scientific community:
|> family-unfriendly expectations.

Yes, I think so too. And it's not only family-unfriendly - people like me
who do not have a family (meaning spouse or children - we tend to forget that
parents and siblings are also family in this discussion) still have some 
"surrogate family", meaning friends - especially some friends with a 
"normal" life. 

Besides, I sometimes wonder - it seems as if the only acceptable reason to work
less is family - are we all only interested in work and family? Sure, I like
my work, but I also like many other things - and I don't like work that much 
to want to put in more than 40 - 50 hour weeks too often. And I'm talking 
40 - 50 hours all in all - reading and writing at home included. Well, I guess
everyone has to find his or her balance. So far, if measured by grades and 
number of publications, I do not seem to have been less "successful" than 
I think I could have been anyway - there's a point where working more gets
counterproductive, at least for me. 

Okay, so I want to have a life outside from work - is that so bad? My friends
who aren't into science think I'm crazy anyway - they also have jobs they like,
but they would never dream of spending 10 hours overtime every week on their 
job for the pay I get. Actually, I think that's what drives so many women 
away from science - the prefer being "whole" persons, beyond work. 

Sure, I also know many people who are perfectly happy living a typical 
"scientists life" - but why should these people be considered standard 
or "normal" more than people outside science? 

And, to come back to my favourite topic - maybe the so-called "French paradoxon"
(i.e. less people in France dying from heart-attacks than in Germany or the US,
even though consuming more fat and cholesterol) is not due to the red wine 
consumed with the fat, but simply to taking life a bit more easy and relaxed?


| Sabine Dippel     | e-mail: s.dippel at                  | 
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| FZ Juelich        | fax   : [++49] (2461) 61-2430                   | 
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| Germany           |                                                 | 

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