Can scientists have it all?

A frequent debate in science (or really any field) is the question “Can we have it all?”  Essentially, can we have the successful career, AND a family, AND some personal time as well?  We’ve posted frequently about the difficulties in “having it all”, especially for women scientists… but the Washington Post nicely explains the findings of a new study, which takes a look at men instead.

A perhaps not so surprising observation from the study is that men in science, especially those who are successful, are not very involved in the home, and oftentimes have a partner who takes care of the responsibilities at home or with family.  From the article:

The study, Damaske said, showed there was potential for change, in the majority of men who wanted to take on a more active role at home as fathers. But there was also resistance to change from those in power at the institutions.

“We came to realize that it really benefits your career to have someone at home, making sacrifices for your career,” Damaske said. “The majority of men we spoke to see that. But they’re not happy about it.”

It’s important to have these conversations and to expose the reality of the career situation in the sciences.  As families are becoming more “non-traditional”, gender roles are changing and as a result work-life balance has begun to take new meaning.  What do YOU foresee for the future of science?  Will we accept less productivity from males who want to be more involved at home?  Or can one only “make it” by sacrificing family life? Must one partner sacrifice their career in order for the other to achieve success? Can we really have it all?  Let us know how you feel comment below or contact us here! 


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