Tuesday, July 06, 2004

No, I don't think I can say that I know anyone who is happy in graduate school. I mean, yeah, there are people who are optimistic in general and have a positive outlook on life no matter what, but I'm not sure I believe that there are people who are satisfied at their core with their graduate school existence. Look what it did to me.

I think you're very justified in your pessimism about things not changing, and that women (and men who aren't the typical scientist) will probably feel exactly the same 15 years from now as well. I think we definitely run the risk of not helping anything by leaving the field. I think we run an even higher risk of not helping anything if we stayed in it, either.

But, of course, I still carry alot of my optimisim around with me even after this experience. Our voices are going to be limited because of our carreer choices, but that doesn't have to mean a whole lot. Screaming and yelling isn't going to do a whole lot, as we've witnessed with some of our colleagues. However, If there's one thing that I've learned in the past year, it's that organizations have pressure points. If we're smart and committed, we'll find them.

Question for you -- Hypothetically, since you don't have physics majors in your new department, would you encourage a bright 21 year old student to go on to a PhD program in physics/astronomy or in any other field?


P.S. I still think that you're a hell of a researcher, whatever your advisor may have done to you.


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