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Strategies for Combining Family and Career

10 Aug 2015, 13:30 UTC
Strategies for Combining Family and Career
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I read an interesting article this week about the challenges women face in having children while pursuing a scientific career. It is "Balancing Family Life with Science Career" by Akiko Iwasaki in the August 2015 issue of Nature Immunology. It has valuable advice for women scientists raising children that matched well with experiences that my wife and I had.Science is a wonderful career track for people wanting to solve fundamental problems and follow their curiosity. It can offer a diverse life-style with time split between such activities as laboratory work, interacting with students and postdocs, analyzing data, writing papers and presenting results at conferences. However, it is not an easy path to follow. Success depends on being able to identify important and interesting problems and to set up experiments to solve them. Young faculty must create and manage a research group with students and postdocs. Research funding is necessary but hard to come by in today's highly oversubscribed programs. Papers must be written and have broad impact. This is usually all in addition to teaching classes and serving on multitudes of committees.Everyone is in the same boat and success can be obtained through hard work. For women, an additional factor ...

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