Couple hiring across all disciplines in 13 leading U. research universities increased from 3% in the 1970s to 13% in the 2000s, and although there may be good reasons behind the increase—it's apparently good for retaining talent and promoting diversity—the practice can be controversial.Regardless of the merits of the practice, it can be tough going for the less accomplished scientist in a faculty pair."We waited until we were in a pub or at home," Gallese says. You don’t make love, you don’t kiss each other, you don’t whisper sweet words: You talk about neurons." One issue that can be especially damaging to young scientists is the perception by peers that career success is a result of a relationship and not scientific achievements.The risk is especially large when one of the two scientists is more senior, or when the two scientists are hired as a couple—a phenomenon that is particularly common in the United States.“Individual commitments” are fine, but what about some real, professional rules or guidelines that would help clarify appropriate versus inappropriate behavior? Let’s put this another way: what’s the to our students, in seeing their professors possible future sexual partners or in dating us? (Yes, this is a rhetorical question, but for gosh sakes: when are you going to stop dating your students?As I’ve said here for years, physicians can have their licenses revoked for dating patients (or the parents of patients, in the case of pediatricians); attorneys can be disbarred for dating clients; counselors and clergy must abide by strict rules prohibiting sexual contact with the people they are counseling or offering pastoral care. What are the benefits to our teaching or research or to our professions that accrue from dating our students? When will you stop seeing them as a perk of your job, rather than someone else’s children?Simmons and her husband each hold a professorship in MSU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, but they often collaborate on high-energy physics projects and jointly supervise graduate students and postdocs.
The reporting of misconduct by victims and bystanders should be recognized as courageous actions that are key to making our communities safer and stronger. Why should responsible academics and professors be afraid to forswear dating or sexual contact with any and all of our students? The implication here is that it’s only colleagues, not students, whom one must be careful about propositioning sexually, and it’s only What responsible, mature person would have a problem with that rule?As recent highly publicized news reports have made clear, the institutional response to cases of sexual misconduct often contributes to the problem [1-3].Fear of negative publicity feeds bureaucratic inaction, but as these reports also illustrate, the consequences of institutional indolence can be worse."Often people who are in a life partnership may stand closer to their partner, they may touch their partner affectionately on the shoulder or give them a hug.
We turn that off in the professional sphere," says Elizabeth Simmons, a theoretical physicist who serves as dean of Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing."We were pretty good at keeping our private life separate from work," Gallese says. Eight years her senior, Gallese was an associate professor, also in Rizzolatti’s lab.