Listserv: 1. ...i decided to take a "quick and dirty" look @female Nobel
laureates in an attempt to assess how they did it and to document their
numbers compared to male honorees...(see link below)...
2. ...since 1895 (when the prize was inaugurated), 44 women have received a
Nobel, 17 of these (~39%) in math-based disciplines (medicine or
physiology: n= 10; chemistry: n= 4; physics: n= 2; economics: n= 1)...
3. ...807 men have won the Nobel (i did not readily find a breakdown x
area), 44, women...~5%...
4. ...i took a q&d look @wiki entries for several of the women...marie
curie won twice (the only woman to do so); several, including curie, won
with husbands; curie's daughter won a Nobel with her husband; many are
theoreticians or made technical/methodological contributions; some of the
recent female awardees have 1 or 2 children; one is struck that these women
are "tough sisters", some having had very challenging childhoods (see, for
instance, barbara mcclintock [a goldschmidt student!] and ada yonath [if i
recall correctly, the first israeli woman to win a Nobel])...etc., etc.
5. would like to read biographies of all of these remarkable women
to get a better idea of how they did it, how they purchased control of
their time, and how they maintained their focus "...without being
distracted by other interesting things".
6. ...again, i'd like to recommend the biography of marie curie by
francoise giroud...
7. ...clara

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kristine Callis <>
Date: Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 3:39 PM
Subject: Re: [ECOLOG-L] Families in Science - Balancing your personal and
professional life

I think there are another interesting questions to pose: who do we want
raising the next generation?  Do we want to make it as easy as possible for
intelligent, hard working people to becoming parents (and spend the time
necessary with the children to raise productive, well adjusted people) and
continue to contribute to and be successful in science or do we want to
make it so difficult that they may decide not to reproduce and leave their
genes, which may have contributed to their success in our society, out of
the gene pool?  What is the cost, and is it worth it, of not creating an
environment capable of supporting a work-life balance that leads to
scientists having and raising children as well as continuing to be
productive scientists?  What is the cost to science of having well-educated
people drop out of science to raise families because they don't feel they
can do both?

Just some thoughts,
Kris Callis
PhD Candidate (and former MD)
University of Florida
(Mother, wife, ecologist. In that order and successful at all three)

On Apr 12, 2012, at 11:52 AM, Amanda Quillen wrote:

> "...however, why should the USA modify the system producing among the
best and most successful scientists in the world..."
> Because maybe that isn't true and things could be better another way.
After grad school, I left academia for the private sector. I make more
money and get more respect from my colleagues and I have more free time
than in any postdoc I've ever heard about. Now I get to have a baby at a
biologically appropriate age with paid leave and excellent health coverage.
Surely I'm not alone in this. Why would our brightest scientists subject
themselves to the other system if they have a choice? Perhaps many of them
didn't. Maybe I don't have a bunch of publications, but my research gets
immediately incorporated into products and powerful people listen to what I
say. That kind of impact is very rewarding. There is another way, people.
> Amanda Quillen, Ph.D.
> On Apr 11, 2012, at 11:14 PM, "Clara B. Jones" <>
>> Andres: 1. ...i think i really do "hear" what you are saying, and i "get"
>> that the advantages afforded to professional females (including females
>> research science careers) in some countries are beneficial to them and
>> their families...
>> 2. ...however, what level of Science are these females doing...
>> 3. their productivity, including the quality of their research,
>> equivalent to that of USA men who work, say, 80+ h/week...
>> 4. the quality of work being done in the countries you
>> cite equivalent to what would be required to achieve "senior" (i;e.,
>> professorship [+]) status in the US...
>> 5. ...i don't think i know what the answers to the above questions are;
>> however, i suspect the answers are "no"...
>> 6. ...from what i do know, however, i THINK that collaborative research
>> acceptable in Europe to a degree that it is not in the USA where, it
>> to me, females who rely on collaboration are often/usually perceived as
>> "hitch(h)iking" on a senior person's research projects...though this
>> strategy may, indeed, purchase senior status in the USA, it often does
>> translate to reputation or respect (indeed, there are exceptions)...
>> 7. ...following from the threads on this topic in the past few d...i
>> i "hear" females saying that they're not competing for the sorts of
>> positions that i describe be one respondent put it,
>> after a baby came her "priorities changed"...again, so be it...SORT OF...
>> 8. ...what i mean by SORT OF is that i don't see a problem with USA
>> changing priorities UNLESS they've received funding or made other
>> commitments under the guise that they want to be senior scientists *as
>> defined in USA*...
>> 9. ...several female respondents have pointed out that female graduate
>> students, post-docs, etc. are "grown-ups" capable of making their own
>> "rational" decisions...all good...then they should be prepared to assume
>> responsibility for their decisions...understanding *the realities of USA
>> science that they signed up for*...
>> 10. ...what is the Plan B for these girls that will fulfill their
>> commitments *(to USA science)* when they switch priorities...
>> 11. ...what is their plan for purchasing UNDIVIDED, UNINTERRUPTED,
>> the sort of senior science *as defined by USA standards*...
>> 12. ...some females & minorities assert that the structure of USA science
>> needs to change...for a variety of reasons...
>> 13. ...however, why should the USA modify the system producing among the
>> best and most successful scientists in the world...
>> 14. ...more important, in my that "RATIONAL" grown-ups of
>> whatever sex or sexual orientation or personal status sign up for this
>> system & need not only to have their eyes open but need to step up by not
>> changing the rules unilaterally in mid- or late-stream...clara
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> From: Andres Lopez-Sepulcre <>
>> Date: Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 4:01 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ECOLOG-L] Families in Science - Balancing your personal and
>> professional life
>> To:
>> Andres, do you have any ideas about how we can import that Finlandian
>>> to the U.S.?  And how to get more universities and other employers in
>>> U.S. to recognize the need to provide for professional couples?  Thanks,
>>> David
>> Ufff... this discussion may become more political than ecological... the
>> problem, as I see it is more fundamental. How willing are we to pay
>> and more progressive taxes, socialize higher education (and health care),
>> punish job instability, remove undergraduate and graduate student fees
>> fact, undergraduates are paid in Finland!!) or increase graduate
>> student/post-doc salaries and benefits at the cost of reducing those of
>> professors...?
>> ---- Andres Lopez-Sepulcre <> wrote:
>>>> In my experience, it all depends on the country and how easy funding
>>>> agencies, research institutions and governments make it. I have
>>>> experience in several countries: Spain, USA, France and Finland. They
>>>> each have their good and bad points on that respect. Fore example,
>>>> while the USA and Canada tend to be pretty good at opening jobs for
>>>> couples, which helps enormously the two-body problem, I find that some
>>>> European countries offer better conditions to be a parent. For
>>>> example, in Finland and Sweden the government offers paid maternity
>>>> and/or paternity leaves of at least 10 months. Since this is a
>>>> 'stipend' independent of the scientific fellowship or contract, it
>>>> essentially means that if they had 3-years of funding, they now will
>>>> have that + 10 months (i.e. the grant or contract 'slides' forward).
>>>> Moreover, there are good free or cheap daycare services and even
>>>> sometimes, daycare or family-housing in field stations. The conditions
>>>> are so good that I have never seen such a high rate of graduate
>>>> students pregnant or with children as in those countries... and they
>>>> are consequentially doing better than average at keeping women in
>>>> science. Of course, many countries (like Spain, my home-country) fail
>>>> in all aspects.
>>>> Andres Lopez-Sepulcre
>>>> Laboratoire d'Ecologie, UMR 7625
>>>> Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris
>>>> On Apr 11, 2012, at 5:54 PM, Rachel Guy wrote:
>>>> I've been following the debate Simone Whitecloud inspired concerning
>>>>> babies in the field. This brought to mind something I was told when
>>>>> I was pursuing my B.S.  in Wildlife Ecology:
>>>>> "You can be a scientist, a spouse or a parent.  Two of these things
>>>>> you can be simultaneously great at doing, while the third will
>>>>> suffer."  I'm not sure I entirely agree with this statement, but I
>>>>> have seen personal relationships tried by professional obligations
>>>>> and professional obligations tried by personal obligations.
>>>>> Particularly in a field that often demands long absences and
>>>>> irregular hours, I can see how this would particularly be true.
>>>>> Though, I have also seen faculty and research scientists with
>>>>> families that seem pretty stable and happy. Is there any substance
>>>>> to this paradigm, and if so, are there realistic ways in which we
>>>>> can change them? I'd love to hear the communities' thoughts on this
>>>>> as it is something that I have often reflected on as I've progressed
>>>>> through my career. Can we have it all? What are the key differences
>>>>> between the ones that are seemingly able to do it and the one's
>>>>> where the challenges become too great?
>>>>> Rachel Guy
>>>>> Project Coordinator, Research Assistant
>>> --
>>> David McNeely
>> --
>> clara b. jones

Kris Callis

clara b. jones

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