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Last Post 24 Oct 2019 09:58 AM by  Kelly Larson
2 scientist marriage
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Author Messages

Marie (LHS)


21 Oct 2019 07:26 AM
    What if your "significant other" also wants to become a scientist? Do you think would make starting out harder or easier? How would it be later?

    Laurel Rachmeler

    New Member

    New Member

    21 Oct 2019 08:21 AM
    Dear Marie,
    This happens quite regularly, it is so common that we refer to it as the "two-body problem". Many people meet their life partners at work or in school, so it isn't all that surprising. As with most things in life there are advantages and disadvantages. It can be great to have someone at home who understands the complex issues that you are working on, someone to bounce ideas off of, and someone to lend a hand now and again when you get stuck. However, it does mean that it is easier to bring work home and blur the line between work and personal time, which not everyone wants. The main problem that it can cause is that jobs in specialized scientific fields do not come up often, and so finding two specialized jobs open at the same time in the same place can be especially hard to find -- this is where the "two-body problem" name comes from. I know many people who have overcome the challenge and live and work happily in the same field. I have also seen instances where one or both parties have changed career paths in order to maintain a successful career and happy family at the same time.

    Sabrina Savage

    New Member

    New Member

    22 Oct 2019 10:25 AM
    I agree with everything Laurel said and would add that when you factor in 2-scientists and kids, you have what's called the N-body problem! Chaotic solution. :-D Many of us have been there and done that too.

    Kelly Larson

    New Member

    New Member

    24 Oct 2019 09:58 AM
    Hi Marie,

    I actually think that may be a great advantage! I regularly hang out with my fellow scientists and engineers. We bounce ideas off each other, and it is fun and helps to build my ability to language these ideas. Sometimes these friendships are tight - and they can cross over into a partnership. It really depends on whether the couple cares about what the other is doing, and if that kind of collaboration is welcome for both, but if it is, it can be very beneficial.

    Think about the "coffee shop atmosphere" that was in Europe in the early 20th century. Scientific folks from all over sat around and shared their insights, and those interactions led them to great scientific discoveries.

    So there may have to be ground rules about bringing work home, and limits to the amount of collaboration for good health, but it may work out to be an excellent alliance!

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