Conference attendance with childcare responsibilities

With conference season coming up, a very timely opinion article in the prestigious journal PNAS. It talks about difficulties parents face when trying to conciliate childcare responsibilities, with the well known career advancing opportunities that attending international conferences present. You can access the paper by clicking here, and read the first paragraph below:

“Conferences are vital forums for academic researchers. At these meetings, scientists communicate new discoveries, form research collaborations, make contacts with funding agencies, and attract new members to our labs and programs. Even with new technological advances that allow remote communication, resource sharing, and networking, face-to-face interactions are a crucial component for one’s career advancement and ongoing education. Early-stage researchers, who benefit significantly from these events, face some notable barriers to attendance. One major challenge is what we call the childcare–conference conundrum: Parent–researchers face a conundrum as they struggle to attend key conferences and further their careers while finding care for the children. Conferences face a conundrum as they assess how to better accommodate mothers and families” (Calisi and a Working Group of Mothers in Science 2018,

 

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