Good one Todd, thanks for nimbly addressing that heavy dose of sexist

To the issue of "child safety."  We throw around that phrase as if it is a
neutral, objective term, and we are all in assumed agreement on what that
means.  Not so in a society where schools are requiring children to wear
bike helmets on the school jungle gym.  Our tolerance for and perception of
risk is cultural.  Cesarean Rates US 32 percent, Netherlands 14 percent.
There is no one standard of safety.  That is why we attempt to leave some
decisions to the judgment of the person making the decision on their own or
their dependent's behalf.

What if we privileged communities of trained and in-training
scientists/academics, that supported all sorts of work/life balance, for
all stages of a "normal" professional lifespan, gender, age, and disability
issues notwithstanding, and it became the norm for us to commit to each
other and not just to our data collection.  We would just get on with it
when women or men needed to rearrange their schedules, and our labs and
fields and classrooms would be richer for such a commitment.

On Mon, Apr 9, 2012 at 5:37 PM, Todd Doherty <> wrote:

> So we should just PLAN a life dedicated solely to the pursuit of
> uninterrupted data? Our guiding principle as scientists should be to
> compromise LIFE or anything else that might get in the way of the most
> prolific output of pure science? Eh, no thanks, I didn't sign up for
> that...what next, vows of celibacy and self-flagellation ?
> Personally, I think the people who live an active and rich life outside of
> the academic/science construct tend to be the ones who have the most to
> offer science and society as a whole - we should all be more than the sum
> of the questions we seek to answer in our scientific lives.
> "This could happen for both sexes but have seen it almost exclusively with
> women in the US" - the deck is stacked against women in the
> academic/science construct and is continually perpetuated by comments like
> this. Here is a pretty fundamental idea, and I think we all got it in intro
> Biology  - parental investment is inherently skewed in human reproduction,
> so how is it surprising that women tend to be affected by it more?
> Socially, we have further expanded the expectation of a mother's role while
> simultaneously discriminating them for fulfilling that role.
> We can start to address the gap by not jumping at every chance to say how
> "women/kids/marriage are problematic to science". Sounds like the Good Ol'
> Boy's club using the same tagline under a different banner. Some of our
> enlightened colleagues are using the same ill-logic that Good Ol' Boys have
> been using for centuries to keep women, having any sort of
> job other than housewife, having equal rights, serving in the clergy,
> owning land etc.
> my .02, FWIW
> Sincerely,
> A single, childless, adult male who is amazed by the emotional and mental
> tenacity and fortitude of women/mothers who keep jumping in the snake pit
> and proving the Good Ol' Boys wrong
> P.S. - a big shout out to any man or woman taking their kids in the field!!
> i was on skis about the same time i learned to walk, and I was a backpacker
> baby turned wilderness nut for life - thanks Mom and Dad!  How can anyone
> criticize or even question others for fostering a love for nature and
> science in kids at every opportunity possible? Isn't that the whole point?
> (at least it is for me) Science should not be a selfish undertaking; it's
> meant to be shared and augment life, not replace it.
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Ecological Society of America: grants, jobs, news [mailto:
> > ECOLOG-L@LISTSERV.UMD.EDU] On Behalf Of Michael E. Welker
> > Sent: Monday, April 09, 2012 11:39 AM
> > Subject: Re: [ECOLOG-L] Backpacking with an infant?
> >
> > I think that the issue is PLANNING. So science should be compromised
> > because of your desire to have children? Slightly different twist to the
> > discussion but ..... if you are doing a field project you should plan on
> > being there for your committed time frame i.e. don't get pregnant. I have
> > taken over work on a couple of field projects because the woman had to
> > leave for similar reasons i.e. getting married and/or pregnant. That is
> > problematic in terms of down time to get a new field tech = missed data.
> > Also field techniques maybe altered due to new person thus data could be
> > compromised. There are other issues here that need to be considered as
> > well. For instance, taking a position from others and then backing out
> for
> > personal reasons midway through the project. This could happen for both
> > sexes but have seen it almost exclusively with women in the US. Just
> > another thought.
> >
> > Mike Welker
> > El Paso, TX
> >
> >
> >  ----- Original Message -----
> >  From: Silvia Secchi
> >  Sent: Monday, April 09, 2012 8:44 AM
> >  Subject: Re: [ECOLOG-L] Backpacking with an infant?
> >
> >
> >  Actually, I think the real issue is who is advising Simone to do this
> >  and thinks it is a good idea. My PhD and postodoctoral advisers had
> >  kids and were realistic in terms of their expectations. Now that I am
> >  on the other side, I try to do the same with my students and postdocs.
> >  At three months, you could have a colicky baby or still be recovering
> >  from a c-section. Advisers who do not make room for the needs of a new
> >  mother and baby are problematic in my view - then again, I am probably
> >  biased because I am Italian, and in Europe maternity leaves are
> >  serious business.
> >
> >  Silvia
> >  --
> >  Silvia Secchi
> >  Assistant Professor, Energy and Environmental Policy, Department of
> >  Agribusiness Economics
> >  Co-Director, Environmental Resources & Policy Ph.D. Program
> >  Agriculture Building - Mailcode 4410
> >  Southern Illinois University
> >  1205 Lincoln Drive
> >  Carbondale, Illinois 62901
> >  Phone:(618)453-1714
> >  Fax: (618)453-1708
> >
> >  Vous avez beau ne pas vous occuper de politique, la politique s'occupe
> >  de vous tout de même.
> >  Charles Forbes de Montalembert
> >
> >  The way we organize the modern American university fragments our
> >  knowledge badly. Not only are we divided by discipline, but we are
> >  divided by the methods that scholars use.
> >  Elinor Ostrom
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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> > and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe
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> > have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete
> > the email immediately.
> >

Claudia J. Ford <>


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