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Summary: “Ice Ice Baby – Let’s talk having kids in polar sciences”

As part of the online “Let’s talk” – seminar series “Ice Ice Baby – Let’s talk having kids in polar sciences” was held online on the 21st of March, 2023, and aimed at opening a discussion on parenting while being a researcher in polar sciences. As early career scientists, the option of becoming a parent, when would be the “good time” to do it and challenges that can arise from it are important matters.

Opening the seminar with a survey underlined the concerns that could be shared in our community on the subject: most of all, time management, fieldwork and travel were cited as sources of uncertainty around having kids in the polar sciences.  

For the occasion, we invited four panelists to share their experience with us: Pamela Rossel (GFZ Potsdam, Germany), Josefine Lenz (AWI Potsdam, Germany), Arttu Polojärvi (Aalto University, Finland) and Claire Treat (AWI Potsdam, Germany).

More than 30 participants of different profiles, as indicated by the survey images below,  joined us to listen and share their experiences. Some of them caring for their children while they were participating to the seminar as almost half of our audience were parents.

Our main take-away for this seminar is that the choice to have kids belong to you and
only to you. As a researcher, having support with the logistics of parenting, especially for fieldwork, is important. Nevertheless, let’s keep in mind: nobody is perfect, and sometimes … we have to learn to disappoint. But, at the end of the road, many shared that the whole parenting experience is great, with a lot of positive and fun learning involved. A more comprehensive summary will possibly follow.

We thank our panelists for having the time to share their valuable experience with us!
Thank you to Elisa Peter (GFZ) for leading the event organization and moderating it, and to Marek Muchow (Aalto University), Rebecca Konijnenberg (AWI) and Rey Mourot (GFZ) who helped with the organisation and technical support of the