Motherhood, the Elephant in the Laboratory: Women Scientists Speak Out

Motherhood, the Elephant in the Laboratory: Women Scientists Speak Out

by Emily Monosson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801446643

ISBN-13: 9780801446641

Pub. Date: 04/10/2008

Publisher: Cornell University Press

About half of the undergraduate and roughly 40 percent of graduate degree recipients in science and engineering are women. As increasing numbers of these women pursue research careers in science, many who choose to have children discover the unique difficulties of balancing a professional life in these highly competitive (and often male-dominated) fields with the

Overview

About half of the undergraduate and roughly 40 percent of graduate degree recipients in science and engineering are women. As increasing numbers of these women pursue research careers in science, many who choose to have children discover the unique difficulties of balancing a professional life in these highly competitive (and often male-dominated) fields with the demands of motherhood. Although this issue directly affects the career advancement of women scientists, it is rarely discussed as a professional concern, leaving individuals to face the dilemma on their own.

To address this obvious but unacknowledged crisis—the elephant in the laboratory, according to one scientist—Emily Monosson, an independent toxicologist, has brought together 34 women scientists from overlapping generations and several fields of research—including physics, chemistry, geography, paleontology, and ecology, among others—to share their experiences.

From women who began their careers in the 1970s and brought their newborns to work, breastfeeding them under ponchos, to graduate students today, the authors of the candid essays written for this groundbreaking volume reveal a range of career choices: the authors work part-time and full-time; they opt out and then opt back in; they become entrepreneurs and job share; they teach high school and have achieved tenure.

The personal stories that comprise Motherhood, the Elephant in the Laboratory not only show the many ways in which women can successfully combine motherhood and a career in science but also address and redefine what it means to be a successful scientist. These valuable narratives encourage institutions of higher education and scientific research to accommodate the needs of scientists who decide to have children.

Contributors: A. Pia Abola, biochemist, writer, and editor; Caroline (Cal) Baier-Anderson, University of Maryland, Baltimore; Joan S. Baizer, SUNY Buffalo; Stefi Baum, Rochester Institute of Technology; Aviva Brecher, U.S. Department of Transportation, Volpe Center (Cambridge, Massachusetts); Teresa Capone Cook, American Heritage Academy; Carol B. de Wet, Franklin & Marshall College; Kimberly D'Anna, University of Wisconsin–Madison; Anne Douglass, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Elizabeth Douglass, Scripps Institute of Oceanography; Katherine Douglass, George Washington University; Deborah Duffy, University of Pennsylvania; Rebecca A. Efroymson, U.S. government research laboratory; Suzanne Epstein, Food and Drug Administration; Kim M. Fowler, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Debra Hanneman, Whitehall Geogroup, Inc. and Earthmaps.com; Deborah Harris, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory; Andrea L. Kalfoglou, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Marla S. McIntosh, University of Maryland; Marilyn Wilkey Merritt, George Washington University; Emily Monosson, toxicologist and writer; Heidi Newberg, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Rachel Obbard, British Antarctic Survey; Catherine O'Riordan, Consortium for Ocean Leadership; Nanette J. Pazdernik, independent author and molecular biologist; Devin Reese, National Science Resources Center; Marie Remiker (pseudonym); Deborah Ross, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne; Christine Seroogy, University of Wisconsin–Madison; Marguerite Toscano, independent geoscientist, writer, and editor; Gina D. Wesley-Hunt, Montgomery College; Theresa M. Wizemann, Merck & Co., Inc.; Sofia Refetoff Zahed, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Gayle Barbin Zydlewski, Cove Brook Watershed Council and University of Maine

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801446641
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
04/10/2008
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction

Section I. 1970s

Balancing Family and Career Demands with 20/20 Hindsight by Aviva Brecher

Extreme Motherhood: You Can't Get There from Here by Joan S. Baizer

Careers versus Child Care in Academia by Deborah Ross

Identities: Looking Back over Forty Years as a Social Scientist,
Woman, and Mother by Marilyn Wilkey Merritt

Costs and Rewards of Success in Academia, or Bouncing into the Rubber Ceiling by Marla S. McIntosh

One Set of Choices as a Mom and Scientist by Suzanne Epstein

Section II. 1980s

Three Sides of the Balance by Anne Douglass

The Accidental Astronomer by Stefi Baum

At Home with Toxicology: A Career Evolves by Emily Monosson

Geological Consulting and Kids: An Unpredictable Balancing Act?
by Debra Hanneman

Career Scientists and the Shared Academic Position by Carol B. de Wet

Section III. 1990s

Less Pay, a Little Less Work by Heidi Newberg

Reflections of a Female Scientist with Outside Interests by Christine Seroogy

Part-Time at a National Laboratory: A Split Life by Rebecca A. Efroymson

The Eternal Quest for Balance: A Career in Five Acts, No Intermission by Theresa M. Wizemann

Reflections on Motherhood and Science by Teresa Capone Cook

The Benefits of Four-Dumbbell Support by Catherine O'Riordan

Extraordinary Commitments of Time and Energy by Deborah Harris

Finding My Way Back to the Bench: An Unexpectedly Satisfying Destination by A. Pia Abola

Mothering Primates by Devin Reese

Finding the Right Balance, Personal and Professional, as a Mother in Science by Gayle Barbin Zydlewski

What? I Don't Need a PhD to Potty-Train My Children?
by Nanette J. Pazdernik

Variety, Challenge, and Flexibility: The Benefits of Straying from the Narrow Path by Marguerite Toscano

The Balancing Act by Kim M. Fowler

Juggling through Life’s Transitions by Cal Baier-Anderson

Having It All, Just Not All at the Same Time by Andrea L. Kalfoglou

Section IV. 2000s

Exploring Less-Traveled Paths by Deborah Duffy

Standing Up by Gina D. Wesley-Hunt

Because of Our Mom, a True Rocket Scientist by Elizabeth Douglass and Katherine Douglass

On Being What You Love by Rachel Obbard

Parsimony Is What We Are Taught, Not What We Live by Sofia Katerina Refetoff Zahed

Role Models: Out with the Old and In with the New by Marie Remiker

Pursuing Science and Motherhood by Kimberly D’Anna

Conclusion
Contributors

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >