Monthly Archives: January 2013

Marriage Helps Male Professors Get Ahead

It does not help women. At least according to a study done with history professors in academia.

I realize this study did not focus on STEM fields, but I do notice something similar occurring in my area of study. I’ve had this discussion with many of my female friends as well. What happens when you are a female academic and you want to have a family?

It seems that much of the expectation and responsibility falls on the women. I’ve heard some people say it seems un-masculine for men to take paternity leave. Many of my mentors and role models are men who have wives that not only take care of the kids, they take care of day to day living tasks like paying bills, buying groceries, car and house maintenance, and anything else non-work related. My own mother was one of these amazing women, and there is no doubt it helped my father succeed.

Yet, when it comes to the complete reverse, I don’t see it happening. In fact, looking at all of the women I know as mentors in academia, none of them have a thrifty stay at home husband. That’s not to say it never happens. I’ve certainly encountered a few stay at home dads outside the academic world. However, it comes as no surprise that marriage is still statistically a detriment to women.

Something that I am seeing more often with the younger and newer generation of employees is dual parenting. Men and women are splitting the duties of child rearing more often. Technology has allowed for more flexible work schedules, or just working from home. So, now it is easier for couples to split up time at home with a child.

Maybe it is not longer maternity leave that we need to keep women in the work force. Maybe it is offering more flexible schedules to women AND men. Not only does it offer children time with both parents, it would eventually phase out discrimination women may face about being the ones to take time off from work for family issues.

Students Debate the Gay Gene

Here is an interesting classroom debate on the gay gene. I think it is an interesting idea to have kids debate controversial issues using a scientific perspective. It is interesting that the opposing side does not use a lot of scientific evidence, and there are a lot of statements in the debate that seem to be started with “I believe that…”

I do think that a better science education can lead to a better society, socially and otherwise. Debating using reason and trying to go beyond the beliefs we are surrounded by can go a long way.

This was first seen on Ms. Geshke’s Science Hub. For more information, and the second debate video, please click here.


Check out the video winners for a response to “Science: It’s a girl thing!”

Remember that Science, It’s a Girl Thing video–the one with girls dancing around, being girly, and loving the science of make-up? That video caused a lot of controversy, and gained a fair amount of negative attention. It was not what those on the university side had in mind for getting young women interested in science either.

The campaign itself prompted Curt Rice to propose a video contest, which allowed for young women in science to explain why women should go into the sciences. You can read more about this excellent contest and see the winning videos on Curt Rice’s blog. I encourage you to take a look. There were some really nice submissions.



I’m Back

I’m back from my travels. Since I have not had much time to sit down and write a deeply wordy post, I figured I would share some pictures of insects I saw on my trip. Pictures are always fun, especially when they are of creepy crawlies. I don’t know the names of all of these, so feel free to provide an identification.

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Found just outside my room at night

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Leaf cutter ant

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Found on the floor of my room

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Walking stick

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Found in my bed. I guess it wanted to cuddle.

Cheers! More posts soon.