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PARENTHOOD AND SCIENCE CAREERS: THE MYTHS VS. THE REALITIES

PARENTHOOD AND SCIENCE CAREERS: THE MYTHS VS. THE REALITIES Author: LINDA MARSA Sociologists of science and scientists who are parents agree that there are many misconceptions about combining parenthood with careers in science. These myths, they say, stand in the way of making progress on work/family issues because they reinforce the mistaken notion that a satisfying family life is incompatible with a meaningful science career. The most prevailing myths--and the actual conditions

Linda Marsa


PARENTHOOD AND SCIENCE CAREERS: THE MYTHS VS. THE REALITIES

Author: LINDA MARSA

Sociologists of science and scientists who are parents agree that there are many misconceptions about combining parenthood with careers in science. These myths, they say, stand in the way of making progress on work/family issues because they reinforce the mistaken notion that a satisfying family life is incompatible with a meaningful science career. The most prevailing myths--and the actual conditions that prevail in the scientific workplace--are:

1. Scientists do their best work when they're young. No formal studies have been done, but anecdotal evidence indicates that this common percepton is untrue, says Naomi Oreskes, a professor of earth sciences at Dartmouth College who also has a doctorate in the history of science. "Some scientists did their best work when they were young," she says. "But many, like Lord Kelvin and Niels Bohr, continued to produce important work well...

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