Work-life Balance

Welcome to this Special Issue of EuroScientist on: Work-life balance!

We have a unique selection of articles to share with EuroScientist readers on the kind of extremes of work pressure that scientists can be subjected to—be it by working in extreme environments or because they are sleep deprived. Find out how some of the people interviewed for these articles are prepared to temporarily tilt their work-life balance towards more work and less time for themselves for the love of science.

In another section of this special issue, we explore the kind of solutions that have yet to be implemented to make life easier for scientists. In particular, we focus on inadequate levels of childcare across Europe. Find out how policy decisions have yet to be made in most European countries to make it easier for parents to juggle work and private life.

Further policy decisions are required to ensure that suitable pension arrangements are available to highly mobile scientists. One new initiative covered in the issue–albeit limited in scope–offers food for thought on how best to encourage scientists to be mobile without losing out on pension arrangements.

Looking further afield, we explore one practical approach, based on options setting, which could help make researchers’ careers more controlled.

And finally, we provide you with a reflection on how scientists’ private life is portrayed in films. The piece examines how directors too often succumb to the temptation of dramatizing famous researchers’ lives at the expense of historical accuracy. This brings to the question of whether mass media such as movies serve the cause of science and its relationship with the public.

Enjoy this issue and don’t forget to write to or to comment below each individual article, to tell us about how you feel about your own work/life balance.


European scientists: too often, like acrobats without a net

By Sabine Louët, EuroScientist editor.

Living on the edge

The science of sleep, the sleep of scientists

By Vanessa Schipani, science journalist, The Netherlands.

Work-life balance on hold, for the love of science

By Constanze Böttcher, science journalist, Germany.

Solutions for better life

Inadequate childcare policies affect scientists careers

By Janna Degener, science journalist, Germany.

Mobility more attractive due to new pan-European pension pot

By Anthony King, science journalist, Ireland.

Personal options in science careers

By Haydn Shaughnessy, journalist and author, Ireland.

Wider world perception

When real science falls short in Hollywood

By Vanessa Schipani, science journalist, The Netherlands.

How do you juggle your personal and professional commitments?
Have ever had to give the priority to one or the others?

Your thoughts and opinions are valuable, feel free to use our simple comment section below.

Featured image credit: Sunset Sluckline via Shutterstock

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