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028: Making Time for Kids When Everyone Else Stays Late

If you have kids, you’ve experienced “the time shift.”

Where you used to have hobbies, you now have a drive to soccer practice.  Where you used to have dinner out, you now have dinner, dishes, bath-time, stories, and bedtime, IN.

And where you used to stay late in the lab to finish an experiment, you now rush out at 5 to avoid the late fee at daycare.

Pro Tip: Have your eight-year-old fill out your lab notebook.  It’ll save you time, and he’ll learn how to science!

Family matters

Kids take time, and it’s time well spent, but what happens when your PI doesn’t understand your tight schedule?  Will you look like a slacker for working 8 to 5 on weekdays, and can you really make progress in a research lab with limited hours?

This week on the show, we tackle a listener question that hits all-too-close to home:

I have kids and have to drop them off at daycare at 8AM  and pick them up around 5PM.  My day is very well organized and I’m making progress on a paper, but other post docs and grad students spend a lot more time in the lab than I do.  I’m worried that the PI thinks I don’t work hard enough.

The answer is: you can make it work, but it’s going to take discipline.  And in the end, you might actually be a better scientist because of the special constraints.


That’s one small step for a man…

This week, we also cover some exciting research-related news from President Obama’s recent State of the Union speech.  He’s called for a modern moonshot, encouraging the nation to “cure cancer” over the next decade.  And he’s tasked VP Joe Biden, who recently lost his son to brain cancer, with leading the mission.

You can check out the transcript of his speech, and Biden’s plan for more details.


Is this beer cage free?

On the ethanol front, we sample Unity Vibration Bourbon Peach American Wild Ale Kombucha Beer.   Here, I’ll save you the trouble: Wikipedia article on kombucha.

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