Ric from AAAS Center for Science Careers , wrote in response to my comments about the L’Oreal/AAAS publication: “Please look around the rest of the Science Careers Web site, I think you will find more examples of the type you are seeking. Over the years, Science Careers and it’s earlier incarnation Science’s Next Wave, has intentionally given voice to “alternative” pathways as well as a strong affirmation the importance broadening participation in science.”
So I did. Although I’ve read bits and pieces over the years – I took a closer read. He’s right. There are a variety of essays and articles on alternatives.
Incidentally in this week’s issue, is this entry: “Educated Woman, Postdoc Edition, Chapter 16: Still Perky After All These Years by Micella Phoenix DeWhyse” who writes about her experience, in this case – stepping away from the bench:
“What I’ll be doing in my new job is exactly what I said I wanted to be doing: using my analyst mind and my advocate heart to try to make the world a better place. I will interact with a variety of people, translate science into English, and work for an organization that looks at the broader implications of the scientific enterprise on the world–a consultant-ambassador kind of thing….
…Some people might call it selfish: How could I deprive the scientific world of another worker it worked hard to train and–probably more important–of a proper role model for minority women?”
I think many of us who have chosen alternative routes – or pursued research but rather than full-bore at a family friendly pace have felt the same way. That we’ve wasted someones time and money. That we are not the role models we ought to be.
It is exactly these perceptions that we hope to change.