A Week in a Scientist's Life

Snapshot | A Week in a Scientist's Life It's about multitasking--and spending serious time at work  Click for larger version (43K) Our latest Snapshot survey reveals that 347 of our readers spend an average of 52 hours per week working. The range is large, from a sweatshop level of 95 hours to an enviable 30. Our readers spend their time on the predictable tasks, with performing experiments, writing, and reading requiring more than 50% of their time.

By | May 5, 2003

Snapshot | A Week in a Scientist's Life

It's about multitasking--and spending serious time at work

Our latest Snapshot survey reveals that 347 of our readers spend an average of 52 hours per week working. The range is large, from a sweatshop level of 95 hours to an enviable 30.

Our readers spend their time on the predictable tasks, with performing experiments, writing, and reading requiring more than 50% of their time. However, some interesting juxtapositions pop up: While 37% say they spend more time planning experiments than they did five years ago, 55% say they spend less time actually doing them. Are graduate students making up the difference here?

On average, scientists are not getting busier: Although 41% say they are spending more hours at work now than they were five years ago, 21% says their hours have decreased, and the balance report no change.

Interestingly, the much-maligned task of grant application and administration is relegated to the "Other" category, occupying just 5% of our scientists' working lives.


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