Thursday, September 03, 2009

Funny and Sad

I just looked at my logs, and apparently someone came to my blog by searching on "how to make a scientist happy".

Huh. If I discover something that does that reproducibly, I'll be sure to post on it. Right after I tell my husband.

Right now, I'd say the front-runner is ice cream. But that might only work for pregnant scientists.

(The search led to this post. Somehow, I think the method described in that post is a little more complicated than the searcher wants.)

I do have some searches that perhaps led to useful information- a few people found this post by searching on combining motherhood with science, and on by searching on combining life with a career in science (its a little sad that I only laughed at the strangeness of that search now, as I typed it- it is so ingrained in me that it is hard to "have a life" and be a scientist). I suspect my sort of scientific career isn't what the searchers were looking for, though. I wish one of the successful professors who happen to be mothers out there would write a blog post about how she combines her career and motherhood. Anytime I read a post from an academic scientist that gets anywhere near the issue, the comments are depressing (for instance, the recent post from Blue Lab Coats on maternity leave in academia). Surely, there must be some mothers/professors who are happy with their lives?


  1. A friend was sitting around having pre-dinner cocktails at Lair this summer. He found out his Lair-neighbor was a sociologist who studies women in science. He said, "You should meet my friend, who is also here this week. She is a scientist and she writes a blog."

    It turns out that she already reads my blog as part of her research! Sadly, her NSF grant is just to study women in the two years post-PhD. They only want to know about the 'pipeline leak' in the two years after receiving a PhD.

    NSF is fracking clueless. After the birth and you can drink beer again, I will tell you NASA's laughable response over drinks.

  2. I'm a happy science professor and a mother. I work at a good state school, and I do well, but I'm not a super star or anything, and don't want to be (does that count as successful?). Most of my mother science professor friends are also happy, if a bit stressed. Frankly I don't think we have time to write blog posts about this! Like you've said, I think the most important factor is a fantastic partner. That and being highly organized etc, and also just not worrying all the time about work productivity. If it doesn't work out, there are other jobs, and it's not worth sacrificing other parts of your life to attain ... what is it we're trying to attain anyway?


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