#ScienceMamas podcast: Becca Calisi

Having a family and becoming a parent shouldn’t affect your career in science, says #ScienceMama Becca Calisi.

Image credit: Becca Calisi

Becca Calisi is an assistant professor at UC Davis, California, where she runs a lab studies how the environment affects the brain, behaviour and health.

She has one 6 year old daughter, who arrived whilst she was a postdoc at UC San Diego, and a 1 year old son who arrived whilst she had her permanent position at UC Davis. In between that she spent time doing research in New York.

We talk about how important it is to think about where you work when it comes to having children – to find places that are supportive of families and working parents; about the importance of taking the time you need to recover from childbirth without having the stresses of work hanging over you…

“Here I am, one and a half weeks… post-partum, in my lab, giving an interview in a lab coat, and showing the TV crew everything. So, I think all of that, and the pressure as a new faculty member to prove myself, really took a toll. And I didn’t take care of me; I took care of everyone around me. But not me.” – Becca Calisi

But also about the importance of relaxing, delegating and letting go, when it comes to spending time away from a lab…

“I didn’t want my career to suffer in terms of being in my field. I didn’t want to appear as though I was slowing down. I had a big grant at the time, it was my first big grant at as a faculty member and I wanted to do good by it! And make sure I was keeping on a certain time-table… And it’s hard to relax. It’s hard to not be ambitious. It’s hard to not give it our all. I also didn’t see how I could not take these opportunities…” – Becca Calisi

If you want to find out more about post-partum depression, the US National Institute of Mental Health has some information about it, as done the National Health Service in the UK.

Don’t forget you can also listen (and subscribe!) to the ScienceMamas podcast on iTunes and on SoundCloud!

#ScienceMamas podcast: Karen McGregor

#ScienceMama Karen McGregor from the Daphne Jackson Trust talks about why it’s important to support parents who wish to return to a career in academic science.

Science-Mamas-Karen-McGregor

#ScienceMama KAren McGregor
Printed with permission

Karen McGregor is a #ScienceMama turned #ScienceMama, #SciencePapa & #Scientist advocate, supporting people who wish to return to work in an academic research position after taking a career break.

In this podcast we talk about who, out of this group, most of takes a career break; why they do so; why it’s important to support them to return; and what that support can look like.

“The reality is that the majority of the fellowships that we offer are for people who have taken their break to raise a family. And the majority of those are for women, because women do still primarily take on the lead in childcare. So, it’s usually running at about 90% – 95% of the fellowships we give out go to women.” – Karen McGregor, Daphne Jackson Trust, UK.

You can also listen to this podcast on SoundCloud.

Why are you a #ScienceMama?

We wanted to know why it’s so worth being a #ScienceMama. So, we asked the #ScienceMamas on twitter! Let us know why YOU are a #ScienceMama and we will add your thoughts to the blog!