Motherhood, the Elephant in the Laboratory by
Call Number: HQ 759.48 .M68 2008
Publication Date: 2008
About half of the undergraduate and roughly 40 percent of graduate degree recipients in science and engineering are women. As increasing numbers of these women pursue research careers in science, many who choose to have children discover the unique difficulties of balancing a professional life in these highly competitive (and often male-dominated) fields with the demands of motherhood. Although this issue directly affects the career advancement of women scientists, it is rarely discussed as a professional concern, leaving individuals to face the dilemma on their own. To address this obvious but unacknowledged crisis--the elephant in the laboratory, according to one scientist--Emily Monosson, an independent toxicologist, has brought together 34 women scientists from overlapping generations and several fields of research--including physics, chemistry, geography, paleontology, and ecology, among others--to share their experiences.