Silvia is correct ; science is a male system, created by males, for males. It 
won't change easily, and it has changed very little in the 25 years of my 
career, despite efforts to increase the participation of women in science. 
Women who choose to have a family (and men who invest equally) are usually 
perpetually 'behind' in this system. Some days this bothers me, but less and 
less with time. However, as Wayne wisely points out, there are innumerable 
approaches to finding some balance and enjoying a productive scientific career 
despite this situation. It is a great career; we are among the fortunate to 
spend working time on our own ideas, with stimulating  colleagues, in teams and 
networks, with grad students who continually astound and surprise, in diverse 
natural environments around the world. What could I have done that could be 
better than this - it is difficult for me to imagine; it is an amazing way to 
spend one's life. We don't have to be Nobel prize winners or senior chair 
holders, or anyone else's idea of what it is to be a great scientist. We just 
have to enjoy what we are doing, and pass this passion on to both our students, 
and our kids. And we need to inspire the next generation to do better at 
changing the structure (and not just science!) than we have done. It's great to 
hear from the younger women here who are intent on doing just this; I wish you 
the best,

Alison Munson
Université Laval

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