Work-Life Balance in Science

September 1, 2011

The paradox of the poles of the work-life balance discussion in Nature News is this.

Nobody who succeeds at work and then claims balance really knows if they just got very, very lucky in their career.

Nobody who works around the clock and drives their lab to similar performance knows that this was *required*.

The hidden side is that both balanced and St Kern/Poo’d types also fail in their careers.

UPDATE 09/06/11: Plus also, StKern/Poo’d types can also succeed in their careers really, really well….and still fail to cure cancer.

No Responses Yet to “Work-Life Balance in Science”

  1. odyssey Says:

    I suspect the amount of luck required to succeed with a balanced approach is very institution dependent. There are a lot of “lucky” balanced types where I am. The St Kern/Poo approach may well also be institution dependent.


  2. Fred Says:

    Hat tip to Luck.

    p.s. where is the reference for St Kern/Poo? (I have no idea what this means)


  3. becca Says:

    Something that stuck me about the examples is that they were presented as “the variety in science”. But they struck me as not atypical as attitudes among professionals on the respective coasts, generally.


  4. bacillus Says:

    More importantly, barring a life-threatening emergency, would you want Quiñones-Hinojosa operating on your brain tumor after only 4 hours sleep?


  5. drugmonkey Says:



  6. Spiny Norman Says:

    @Bacillus — he claims 2 hours, not 4. He claims he spent 2 of the 4 hours in bed thinking about the surgery.


  7. PQA Says:

    Fully agree. Sacrifice and hard work will not always bring you the win. Which is why it is important to always question what and why you are sacrificing.


  8. Ariel Says:

    Work-Life Balance. Nice post.

    “Consejos vendo y para mi no tengo”. Tips I sell and for me I have none


  9. Pinko Punko Says:

    And the fact that successful people tell others that “you just need to work hard and you will succeed” does ignore the mix of luck and environment and connections that sometimes put the non superstars over the top.


  10. TheBrummell Says:

    “You make your own luck”.

    Yes, that exact quote has been said to me on more than one occassion. I have yet to formulate a coherent reply.

    Thanks for this post.


  11. Alvin Says:

    I actually have been a yahoo end users for several years. I am only starting to utilise the tools that they give, one among which getting blog posts. I have written a blog and would like to know if my blog posts are being seen by others. Does anyone know how I get my blogs posts read. if not. original site


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