Should you be working 100 hours a week?

Posted in Life on February 20th, 2020 by steve

“Mary Beard’s recent admission that she is a ‘mug’ who works 100 hours a week caused a Twitter storm. But how hard is it reasonable for academics to work? Who should decide? And should the mugs be obliged to keep quiet? Seven academics have their say …” (more)

[Times Higher Education, 20 February]


Sausage Machines in the Academic Lab

Posted in Life on July 22nd, 2019 by steve

“There was a bit of a spat over Twitter last week regarding how many hours students (and postdocs) should be expected to do at the bench. This originated in a tweet from a professor of chemistry but I don’t think it is necessary to go through the exchanges in any detail. Suffice it to say that the originator believed that it was impossible to ‘do world class science in 38 hrs per week’. Others challenged him that work-life balance was important, amongst other complaints …” (more)

[Athene Donald’s Blog, 22 July]

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Work-Life Balance

Posted in Legal issues, Life on May 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A new EU Work-Life Balance Directive has recently been agreed. The ultimate aim of this Directive is to improve gender equality by easing access to work-life balance arrangements for parents and carers and to boost the participation of men in family-related leaves of absence or flexible working arrangements …” (more)

[IFUT, 30 April]

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‘Email overload’ risks ’emotional exhaustion’ for academics

Posted in Life on January 8th, 2016 by steve

UK“A culture of being ‘always available’ can have a devastating impact on the stress levels, work-life balance and job performance of those working within universities. That was the central contention of Gail Kinman, professor of occupational health psychology …” (more)

[Matthew Reisz, Times Higher Education, 8 January]

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Female academic leaders suffer more from ‘workaholic’ hours culture

Posted in Life on November 26th, 2015 by steve

UK“About two-thirds of female academic leaders are unhappy with their work-life balance, with 85% regularly working beyond normal contracted hours each week, a major survey indicates. Women in leadership positions in academia are also far more likely to suffer from stress than their male peers, according to results …” (more)

[Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 26 November]

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24 Hours in Academia

Posted in Life on November 1st, 2014 by steve

UK“I used to think that I was the only saddo still on the computer while everyone else was down the pub on a Friday night. Turns out that’s not the case …” (more)

[The History Woman’s Blog, 1 November]

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The macho world of scientific research

Posted in Research on September 26th, 2013 by steve

“I have spent over forty years in science and, I hope, have made a significant contribution to our understanding of the relationship between our genes and disease, particularly in relation to Duchenne muscular dystrophy. But it very nearly wasn’t so …” (more)

[Kay Davies, New Statesman, 26 September]

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The superwoman fallacy: what it really takes to be an academic and parent

Posted in Life on August 17th, 2012 by steve

“Melissa Terras is tired of being called superwoman because she has three young children and a job. Here she takes apart the myth and says there’s no such thing as ‘work-life balance’ …” (more)

[Melissa Terras, Guardian Professional, 17 August]

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Work-Life Balance Is Out of Reach for Many Male and Female Scientists

Posted in Life on March 9th, 2012 by steve

“A survey of scientists and researchers working in countries across the globe has found that both women and men find work-life balance elusive as they toil away at institutions they don’t perceive as family-friendly …” (more)

[Audrey Williams June, Chronicle of Higher Education, 8 March]

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Not a work/life balance

Posted in Life on May 17th, 2011 by steve

“People some­times ask me about my work/life bal­ance. It was then I real­ised I don’t have one. Maybe it’s because as a soci­ety we’ve reached a cer­tain level of afflu­ence, but there are ideas in the wind about the redu­cing import­ance of eco­nomic meas­ures in our per­cep­tion of coun­tries’ suc­cesses, and instead emphas­ising “softer” factors like well-being and hap­pi­ness. This includes sup­port­ive com­ments from lead­ing eco­nom­ists, as well as a royal decree. This is a major change for a lot of reas­ons, and not one that’s uni­ver­sally recog­nised: my Chinese postdoc, for example, finds the whole notion of vol­un­tar­ily restrict­ing your own work and suc­cess com­pletely incom­pre­hens­ible …” (more)

[, 17 May]