11 October 2007

Intelligent female scientist seeks solution

I've been thinking about the future1, my place in it, and my place in scientific research. Having bored myself silly with self-centeredness, I looked further afield. Back in July2, Professor Greenfield was deploring the lack of female scientists in the higher echelons of her profession. She makes a few fair points, but, as can only be expected with such a complex problem, has no solutions. I'd only add that many male scientists face the same problems as female scientists3: publish or perish, wave farewell to a life outside the lab, bid your aging reproductive organs good day and goodbye4, watch all peers ascend on the property ladder while you slum it out, suffer from intense self-doubt5, blah, blah, moan, whinge, whine. Oh, we're back to self-centeredness again. Regardless of the problems and lack of solutions, I got a darn good laugh out of this comment to Prof. Greenfield's article:

"Maybe women scientists are that much more intelligent so they realise that as a career, scientific research is a joke?" --WinstonTheChair

So true.

1 And no, it's not orange.
2 When my head was so far down a microscope there was no light input save that of the very expensive laser. And no, it wasn't orange either.
3 I should know; I live with one.
4 Granted, this is more a problem for XX than XY. But without XX, XY in a partnership with a scientist XX can't do much about it.
5 Believe me, even the most arrogant of scientists has moments of self-doubt. There is perhaps, though, a reciprocal relationship between success in science and self-doubt.

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