Every once in a while, a commenter writes that I should spend time on my Research rather than writing this blog. That is, the time I spend writing this blog would be better spent doing my research rather than whining about how difficult my life as a Female Science Professor is. My priorities are askew and/or I enjoy wallowing in victimhood so much that I will never be a truly successful science professor.
It would be interesting to know whether the amount of time spent by these commenters reading blogs and writing comments (rather than doing their research) is at all similar to the amount of time I spend blog writing, but alas, those data are unavailable.
I am unsure of the basis for the assumption that blog-writing time is directly subtracted from research time, as opposed to, say, sleeping or house-cleaning or zorbing time. Of course, we could all spend infinite time on research, and the world would be a better place if we did so [ ← sarcastic font].
I am going to assume that the time I spend with my family is an acceptable use of non-research time, but how is blog-writing time different from time spent on some other hobby or professional service activity?
Do these commenters similarly criticize people who spend time gardening or playing online chess rather than spending that time doing research? Imagine if I said to a colleague “You know, Bob, that time you spend golfing really would be better spent on Research. You’ll never get into the National Academy of Sciences if you keep going off to the links every weekend for a couple of hours.” Would that be a sane thing to say?
Or how about: “Pierre, how can you justify spending all that time writing poems about giant squid when you should be doing Research instead of irrelevant writing that will do nothing to get you into the Academy?”. Even if the squid poems are not so great, why shouldn't my colleague spend his time writing them?
There seems to be something about FSP-type blogs that inspires the patronizing “you should be doing research” (instead of writing a blog) comments from some people.
I guess I could run an experiment and blog about my cats for a few weeks (or months) and see if I still get these comments. Or I could just let the cats write the blog while I use this time to do research.. or golf (which in my case would be mini-golf, at which I excel, if I may say so myself).
9 months ago