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Faculty to Grads: Go Work 80 Hour Weeks!

Ian Paul Freeley (1353601) writes | about 2 years ago

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Ian Paul Freeley (1353601) writes "Controversy has erupted after a departmental email from faculty to astrophysics graduate students was leaked. Key tips for success in grad school include, 'However, if you informally canvass the faculty (those people for whose jobs you came here to train), most will tell you that they worked 80-100 hours/week in graduate school. No one told us to work those hours, but we enjoyed what we were doing enough to want to do so...If you find yourself thinking about astronomy and wanting to work on your research most of your waking hours, then academic research may in fact be the best career choice for you.'
Blogosphere reaction has ranged from disappointed to concern for the mental health of the students. It also seems that such a culture coupled with the poor job prospects for academics is continuing to drive talent away from the field.
This has been recognized as a problem for over 15 years in the Astronomy community, but little seems to have changed. Any tips for those of us looking to instigate culture change and promote healthy work-life balance?"

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