I must say that I find this conversation somewhat embarrassing, and hope
it never gets out into the public domain. I have and have always had
friends and neighbours who work 2 or 3 jobs to keep things going.
Literally going to work at 6AM and not coming home till after 10PM
working jobs at places like Walmart and McDonalds. Lots of people work
8+ hours per say 50 weeks a year, like say my Dad, and had no problem
raising a family and contributing to the community. This whole thing is
a study in extreme narcissism. How's that for a wet blanket!

Robert Hamilton, PhD
Professor of Biology
Alice Lloyd College
Pippa Passes, KY 41844

-----Original Message-----
From: Ecological Society of America: grants, jobs, news
[mailto:ECOLOG-L@LISTSERV.UMD.EDU] On Behalf Of Jahi Chappell
Sent: Saturday, April 28, 2012 10:07 PM
Subject: Re: [ECOLOG-L] Families in Science - Balancing your personal
and professional life

While putting resources into science, including ecology, is of course a
wonderful, necessary, and valuable thing, assuredly supporting our own
families with our presence, time, and energy (and societal resources) is
at least as wonderful, necessary, and valuable. Indeed, as many benefits
as flow from science and science funding, we know that having strong
families and communities makes everyone better off, ceteris parabus, and
having strong families and communities requires time and resource
investment from everyone.

Even granting the proposition that we in the US produce the "best and
most successful scientists in the world", all accounts indicate that we
certainly don't produce the highest average of "happy and most secure
and successful families in the world." We have a *lot* of those, but
alas, our median is likely much lower than our mean, and both are likely
behind countries like those Andres analyzed. So much of what so many are
lacking are basic needs, connections, support networks, and resources,
something depending as much or more on good and participatory governance
than new scientific discovery--we need more time for more participation
outside our work and research, not less.

On 4/27/12 10:22 AM, "David L. McNeely" <mcnee...@cox.net> wrote:

This is not meant as a wet blanket, as I encourage family friendly
employment practices for all countries and for all occupations.  But, I
wonder how those figures would look if all areas of science were
considered?  It may be that smaller economies, and the Scandinavian
countries in particular, put a greater fraction of their available
resources for scientific research into ecology than do larger economies
and non-Scandinavian countries.  Is U.S. science more diversified than
Finnish or Icelandic science?

David McNeely

---- Andres Lopez-Sepulcre <lopezsepul...@gmail.com> wrote:
Since we're at it, it did the same calculation for all four countries
ranked first in gender equality by the Global Gender Gap Report. All
four, as far as I remember, provide generous paternity leaves that
guarantee job security and can be shared between mother and father.
ISI indexed publications in Ecology per capita (countries ranked in
order of 'gender equality index')
Iceland: 1167
Norway: 1794
Finland: 1500
Sweden: 1361
Not only do these countries do significantly better in ecology 'per
capita' than the less family-oriented scientific powerhouses (e.g.
USA: 650, UK: 660), but it almost seems that if anything, their ranking
in the gender equality index is correlated with their productivity, not
an 'impediment' ... safe for Iceland, but do remember that Iceland
suffered the largest financial collapse in world history in these last 5
Even when this small sample and oversimplified analysis is not proof of
anything, I hope it can change peoples' perceptions that countries that
have increased social welfare, gender equality and more protective
labour laws are less productive.
Andres Lopez-Sepulcre
Laboratoire d'Ecologie, UMR 7625
Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris
On Apr 27, 2012, at 6:43 PM, Cecilia Hennessy wrote:
PERFECT response, thank you so much!  If we Americans could stop patting
ourselves on the back long enough to realize that other countries have
successful ways of doing things too, maybe we could learn from
international example and progress more efficiently.

On Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 7:48 AM, Andres Lopez-Sepulcre
> wrote:
"...however, why should the USA modify the system producing among the
best and most successful scientists in the world..."

I would simply like to add a quick clarification. I struggled with how
to respond to this US-centric statement. There is no doubt that the USA
is a scientific powerhouse and I have wonderful things to say about my
experience as a scientist there, which has brought me wonderful
collaborations I hope last long. However I am not sure it is fair to
compare a country of over 300 million inhabitants with another of 5
(Finland). In fact, I took the liberty do do a quick search in Web of
Science for articles in the area of 'Environmental Sciences and Ecology'
for both countries in the last 5 years. USA showed 204,414 in front of
8,119 Finnish articles indexed in ISI. If one thinks 'per capita', the
USA has produced 650 indexed articles in ecology per million
inhabitants, while Finland has produced 1,500. With this I do not mean
to say that Finland is better or worse... but just to show that, when
the comparison is done 'fairly', maternity leaves do not seem to be
hampering Finnish ecology. Productivity can be achieved without equality
and social welfare suffering.

Andres Lopez-Sepulcre
Laboratoire d'Ecologie, UMR 7625
Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris


On Apr 12, 2012, at 6:52 PM, Amanda Quillen wrote:

"...however, why should the USA modify the system producing among the
best and most successful scientists in the world..."

Cecilia A. Hennessy
PhD Candidate
Purdue University
715 W. State St
Pfendler Hall, G004
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2061
lab: 765-496-6868
cell: 574-808-9696

David McNeely

M. Jahi Chappell, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Justice School of the
Environment Faculty Affiliate, Center for Social and Environmental
Justice Faculty Affiliate, Program in Public Affairs Washington State
University Vancouver Vancouver, WA 98686

Tel: (360) 546-9413
Fax: (360) 546-9064
Faculty Page: http://directory.vancouver.wsu.edu/people/michael-chappell
Chappell Lab: http://agroecopeople.wordpress.com/
Email: m.jahi.chapp...@vancouver.wsu.edu

Reply via email to