This is a refreshingly honest piece about adulthood and a scientific career.
I think it points to a reason a lot of women leave academia. If you never felt welcomed in the first place, had to make more effort to network, and so on, leaving does not seem to be a weird proposition. It might easier for some women to throw their hands up and be done with it, just as its harder for them to stay in the game.
I imagine many male “failed perfectionists” feel the same way as the author: work is fine but it has become work, and their life has become the interesting piece. But as they’ve been in the science club for some time, the pressure to conform, “man up,” and often provide for their family beats out the desire to do something different. It’s easier for them to stay in the game, harder to leave.
I know, I’m doing a bit of armchair psychology and generalizing. But I’m wondering how many women who leave academia are written off as having done it because they had babies, when perhaps they just had a similar experience to the author. And what I guarantee is that few men who leave academia are assigned such motivations.
This is a cute post I was alerted to by some folks from the Santa Fe Workshop.
I’ve violated all of these, and it’s hard to think of a lede, especially on the spot, that doesn’t violate these rules.
In fact, in a random unscientific polling of Scientific American blogs performed just now, none escaped cliche.
Hey look at me!