Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Bringing Science Home; Version T.1

One of the most surprising aspects (to other people) about our marriage is that we hardly talk science at home. Sometimes my advisor talks with me about Susan's work as though I know all about it. (He was on her committee - but that is a tale for another entry.) My blank look is usually not enough; I have told him several times that I am not familiar with that information.

It's not like talking science is off limits or anything. From my perspective, there are a number of reasons why science doesn't come up at home.
  • I do not understand her work. No really - I am serious... It takes a lot of brainpower to get my mind around the cell signaling work Susan does.
  • Secretly, I wish I could understand her and my hubris interferes with coming to terms with that. The outcome is that I avoid talking about science.
  • We spend >10 hours a day doing science, so we need time off from that.
  • Both of us have other interests, and use our time at home to pursue them.
  • My subconscious places a priority on applied and translational research (that's what I do) and as a result when I talk, I make Susan's work sound less significant. Or so I am told. Making your wife's work sound less significant is a bad idea, and avoiding science talk is healthy for the relationship.
  • Tired... Must sleep... Have nice dreams... Love you... Zzzzzzz... (That is if I don't fall asleep mid sentence.)
  • At this point, I am not so keen on science in general. Thus, I avoid talking about it with most people.
I am not convinced that all of these are good reasons not to talk about science at home. Susan's take on this is slightly different.