My recent concerns about being overworked, about being under too much unnecessary pressure found some echo in Expert Opinion: The life of an academic. Here’s what he had to say:
We see competitive athletes risking their health with steroids as a relatively new phenomenon, but sacrificing one’s health has been de rigeur in academia for a long time. And we can’t even say, like a businessperson might, that there are financial rewards for this. And yet, the extraordinary has now become the expected (…)
To anyone involved in academia, this will ring true. We are very hard on ourselves. Don’t get me wrong. We have to be critical and I’m quite a critical fellow, but we have to be generous to each others as well. The work has to get done, committees have to be chaired, documents have to get written, good papers need to be published, good courses need to be given, but what are the thresholds? What is enough work and what isn’t?