Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: You're Telling My Child What, Now?

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  • Ray Gilbert,

    Women complete their PhDs at 35

    Um - usually closer to 25 actually. Most of our PhD students track school/honours or masters/PhD/first real job - that should see you finshed around 25-27 NOT 35

    Since Nov 2006 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Ray Gilbert,

    Um – usually closer to 25 actually. Most of our PhD students track school/honours or masters/PhD/first real job – that should see you finshed around 25-27 NOT 35

    She'll be thinking of the American context, where you do a 4-year undergrad, a 2-year MSc is not uncommon, and then a 5-7 year PhD - add on a few postdocs before you get a "real" job, if tenure-track academia is your goal...35 would be old for finishing a PhD but young for starting a tenure-track (i.e. hopefully permanent) job. You can get a PhD by 25 in NZ but that's assuming you do the whole thing as quickly as possible, straight out of school. I'd be surprised if it was the average. It is an exaggeration, though.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2087 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    "a man enslaved to the urges of a warped mind" - Dr Grossman on Dr Kinsey.

    I might usurp that as my Twitter bio.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1037 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    So, what do Americans make of our system that spits out PhD graduates at such a tender age? (I was 26 when I got mine, and I wasn't exactly a paragon of single-minded efficiency).
    Are they envious that we are out into the workforce so rapidly?
    Dubious that we can possibly know our stuff after such a short research apprenticeship?
    Blissfully unaware?

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 623 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner, in reply to chris,

    Public Address: deride her quackery

    Since Nov 2006 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • Gee, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    And, you know, it's not as if women in science don't spend A FUCKING LOT OF TIME considering childcare availability and career progress and whether you should have kids before or during or after your PhD or during postdocs or when you get tenure or before you get tenure or whether research science is even compatible with having kids NO WE NEVER THINK OF THOSE THINGS AT ALL, CHEERS, MIRIAM.

    my sentiments (and those of my fellow female PhD students) exactly. and it would be so horrible to have self-fulfilment and education and career options and miss out on being a WIFE. How would I then subsume my identity? i should stop writing now, my head hurts from all the bigs words i am using and I am likely to become hysterical.

    Canada, eh • Since May 2011 • 75 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Indeed.

    Groovy. I've cancelled my ire hoisting subscription. In all fairness she's no one trick pony. While she'd medicate and incarcerate Kinsey for his BDSM, the Doctor exhibits a profound and nuanced complexity:

    "What does BDSM have to do with health?"

    Dr Miriam Grossman MD

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 888 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    So, what do Americans make of our system that spits out PhD graduates at such a tender age?

    That very much depends on the lab you come from. From the American perspective your age is not that relevant, it is your pedigree. You come from such and such university, from the lab of so and so and hence you are worth considering. That affects kiwis because nobody in the US thinks any of the NZ universities are any good at all. So it comes down to "do they respect your PhD supervisor?"

    In the end it is about personal connections, unless you've published in Science or Nature. That's why it's so very very important that kiwi scientists get to travel and spend time in labs overseas either on sabbatical or as post-docs so that if/when they come back as PhD supervisors their own students will have personal connections that can get them into good labs in the US.

    Having said all that. Kiwi post-docs have a reputation for being hard working and efficient with their time, we do in 8 hours what some can't do in 12 hours. We also have the odd reputation of sometimes being quick to look for the simple answer rather than the complicated answer. That's ok but in biology sometimes the answer really isn't simple.

    And finally there is some acceptance of the fact that the US system isn't as fast as it could be (not true for the elite universities). By that I mean that the first couple of years at Uni are basically teaching stuff kiwis learn in school.

    And yes that lack of pace affects women in science because late PhD and early post-doc time is when you need to be in lab the most, it's your best chance to get data for really good publications. But it's also the time most people fall in love with "the one" and think seriously about families. The indirect pressures on woman in particular at that time are enormous. There is a huge amount of educated discussion about how to create an environment where the demands of the science career need to be altered to accommodate the desire of folks to have a "real life" as well. All for the sole purpose of trying to ensure more women get to the top of their field in science.

    That's why it makes me so angry to see women's contribution as a PhD belittled. It's hard enough to keep great female minds in science as it is without having their contribution dismissed by tiny minded bitches.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Thanks Bart! What a great value reply.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 623 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    where you do a 4-year undergrad, a 2-year MSc is not uncommon, and then a 5-7 year PhD

    Isn't that because they spend their 16-18 period getting ready for the prom, and then their first degree learning a diverse mixture of translated Proust, quantum physics for non-mathematicians and history of art?

    (unless they're a jock, in which case they do translated Enid Blyton, basic algebra for non-mathematicians and history of baseball. With a tutor to do all their assignments. Allegedly).

    (I exaggerate based on novels and TV, but there's a modicum of truth...)

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4209 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    and then their first degree learning a diverse mixture of translated Proust, quantum physics for non-mathematicians and history of art

    We once took a highly respected and very smart visiting professor out for beers at the local bowling alley. Turned out she was a very good bowler since she had taken credits in it during her undergraduate degree.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to chris,

    "What does BDSM have to do with health?"

    As much as any other sexual practice? So, quite a bit?

    I've talked a bit here about why it's so important for health professionals to have some basic understanding of BDSM. And most of you will have seen this, yet I'm still a bit chary about linking directly to it: Why it's good for non-BDSM people to have awareness.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4285 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    By that I mean that the first couple of years at Uni are basically teaching stuff kiwis learn in school.

    Was watching Roots: The Next Generation last week, and the scenes set in the college/university where the women are wearing uniforms seemed really weird. It was a methodist(?) institution (as many colleges were/are), but still, in the midst of everything, it seemed the most out-of-place (e.g. we still have racism today).

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Thanks for the link Emma, that was wonderfully articulated, very educational.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 888 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    history of baseball

    I actually did some research on the history of baseball during my aborted US PhD in history. It's a great window into early twentieth century urbanisation and the development of mass leisure (see also: amusement parks; movies; to a lesser extent department stores).

    (Anecdotally, undergraduate degrees (at least in the arts) may be less difficult than ours, but the jump to postgrad work is quite a large one. A graduate programme in history at even a crap university is pretty challenging with a high workload - way more so than my Auckland MA was, for example.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3582 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac, in reply to Tom Beard,

    I like your thinking.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 414 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    They’ll love, and they’ll lose. They’ll break their hearts, and bruise their hips on hand basins. Any joy comes with the possibility of pain, of loss. That’s the point of living.

    This. All of this. Each and every bit of it.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3112 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac, in reply to Emma Hart,

    And that's a fabulous post. Hopefully it'll be a lightbulb moment to a few people, including both vanilla folks and would-be kinky people like That Guy.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 414 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to TracyMac,

    That Guy

    Deliverer of, and this is a high bar, the least subtle pick-up line I've ever been on the receiving end of.

    Thanks, Tracy. It was a hell of a piece to write, and to open up to view, and while the feedback was nothing but positive, it was also bloody exhausting.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4285 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Emma Hart,

    And thank you for writing it (anything to do with BDSM was a prohibited import when I was on the IPT.Things have changed…)

    The more knowledge ‘out there’ = the better.

    One day, one day she sighs, asexuals will be recognised as natural, and accepted as a human sexual variant (as they are among other mammals…*)

    *I was going to add insects, protozoans, cephlapods et al - and -for some funny reasons- decided not to-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Islander,

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 888 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to chris,

    Yesss!
    The -erm?- category has been known about for yonks but - it isnt quite sexy enough to report upon-
    especially as it is extremely difficult to sell things to asexuals using 'normal' sexual triggers (even if we do make up a substantial (well, I think 3-8% is fairly substantial) proportion of humanity....)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I once took a non-credit course in cross-country skiing during my US PhD studies. On the other hand, I really appreciated the US-style taught PhD (high level coursework, practicums, internships, language requirement etc), where everything does not hinge on the final thesis. I do feel for some NZ students I meet, for so much depends on finding a dedicated and skilled PhD supervisor, as well as the need to sustain enthusiasm for your chosen topic over three or more tees.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Islander,

    3-8%

    This is going on the latest figures for other primate research (I think we are looking at between 2 & 5% fot H.s.s myself.)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Islander,

    2 & 5%

    At least, the population of Russia, that's huge.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 888 posts Report Reply

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