Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Motherhood the Elephant in the Laboratory: time to speak up

This is, and isn't, a little off topic but as editor of Motherhood the Elephant in the Laboratory: women scientists speak out, I'm happy to announce that this book of 34 personal essays is now in print thanks to Cornell University Press, and many bold women who wrote about how motherhood influenced their science careers and vice-verse.

Writing and teaching about toxicology (to undergrads and sometimes to highschoolers) is one of the indirect impacts becoming a mother has had on my own career. Because I made the choice to work part-time, which is not an easy thing to do in the sciences, I've kept my own scientist alive through all sorts of interesting people and projects over the years. All of this fueled my desire to reach a broader audience through writing, beginning with articles in our local paper, the esteemed but very small Montague Reporter (hence the Neighborhood Toxicologist) and now through this blog.

As I write on the blog created for the book, Sciencemoms, those who take alternative routes through science ought not be considered failures, or second-class scientists - but apprecaited for their role as communicators, educators, and synthesizers. For more on this see the sciencemoms blog about the two recent editorials in the journal Science. The editorials, written by Bruce Alberts, highlight and support development of programs encouraging scientists to seek alternatives to academia.

Any thoughts on this topic are welcome either here, or at sciencemoms (and you don't have to be a mom - or a women to speak up!)

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