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Opinion / Cross Talk

Scientists blend work and life into palatable cocktails

by  /  14 November 2016

Many scientists are workaholics. The pressure to publish combined with teaching and administrative duties leaves little time for leisure. And for many scientists, just when free time has reached a vanishing point, children arrive. We asked several autism researchers how they managed to mix family and fun with science into their days — and received some clever recipes.

Some say work-life boundaries in their overfull lives are impediments. They stifle the passion that should flow throughout the daylight hours, and that ideally drives scientific discovery. Sports of various sorts make it onto some calendars, with the idea that making time for what you love will bring the greatest joy. Optimism and the long view get others through the day. If you can’t get to it today, perhaps the next decade will do.

 

 

The Experts:
Expert

Jessica Cardin

Assistant professor, Yale University

Success often requires integration, rather than segregation, of work and life — more a juggling act than a high-wire balance routine.

Expert

Brian O'Roak

Assistant professor, Oregon Health & Science University

Finding balance may mean scheduling priorities rather than prioritizing a schedule.

Expert

Camilla Bellone

Assistant professor, University of Geneva

It’s not easy to balance lab life with family life. But with the right support, it’s possible — even enjoyable.

Expert

Helen Tager-Flusberg

Director, Developmental Science Program, Boston University

Work-life balance can change over the course of a career, reflecting events in a person’s life.


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