12月のコラムは先端生命科学専攻 石川麻乃准教授です。(写真に続きコラムがございます。)

大入りの会場で、子供にマイクを取られそうになりながら講演する筆者。大会実行委員会により、スクリーン前にキッズスペースが設けられた。The author giving a speech at a crowded venue, with her child who reaches out to touch the microphone. The committee has set up a children’s space in front of the screen.

講演中、キッズスペースのマットの上で思い思いに寛ぐ子供たち。講演者の子供も親が近くにいるため安心して遊んでいる。During the lecture, children were relaxing on the mats in the kids space. The children of the speakers also feel safe playing because their parents are nearby.

A commemorative photo of organizers/speakers and the children who participated in the symposium. Throughout the event, the children became friends with each other, and some of the children were sad and cried when they parted ways after the symposium ended.

写真:松前ひろみ様 提供 All photos provided by Hiromi Matsumae

■■ 先端生命科学専攻
■■■ 石川麻乃准教授








⇐ 2023年11月のコラム  2024年1月のコラム ⇒

 December Issue
■■ Department of Integrated Biosciences
■■■ Associate Professor Ishikawa Asano

Since arriving at Kashiwa-no-ha in the spring of 2021, I have now experienced my third winter. During this time, life events such as pregnancy, childbirth, and the start of solo-parenting(ワンオペ育児), have surged like a raging river. Each day seems to fly by in an instant, yet I find myself with a strange sense of having been on this campus for a long time. Balancing solo-parenting a one-year-old with research feels like a constant cycle of borrowing and repaying, akin to a precarious balancing act on a bicycle. Even this column’s manuscript, true to form, has far surpassed its deadline, and I am humbly apologetic.

Nevertheless, as my once plump newborn has learned to stand and walk, I have gradually found my way back to engaging in research activities. One of these activities includes participating in academic conferences and research meetings. Despite the challenges of being a single parent to a one-year-old and managing research, I have resumed attending local conferences. During a life where managing day-to-day activities is a struggle for a solo-parenting parent with one child, I could have avoided venturing into unfamiliar territory. However, as someone who has longed for in-person interactions even before my arrival during the COVID-19 pandemic, participating in locally held conferences has become a goal I am determined to achieve this year.

What gave me the confidence to pursue this was the sight of a female researcher I had shared a workshop within Switzerland before the pandemic. In a gathering of around 15 researchers from Europe, North America, and Japan, she participated with her baby, whose neck was not yet table. Accompanying her was her father (the baby’s grandfather), and from the window of the room where heated discussions took place, I could see the two taking a stroll with a stroller. In the latter part of the workshop, the baby was lying on the table where everyone was working. Witnessing this touching scene inspired me, showing me that there is a way to balance motherhood and academic pursuits.

This summer, I organized a symposium titled “Evolutionary Biologists Delivering Research Presentations While Holding Their Children. Can They Successfully Finish?!” As the title suggests, four out of five presenters, including myself, delivered research presentations while bringing their children to the venue. To embody the title, I held my child while I gave my presentation. Thanks to the cheerful atmosphere of Okinawa and the meticulous care of the organizing committee, the venue was so lively that there were standing-room-only attendees, making the symposium a great success (♦).

Since then, as I watch my child running through the grass while murmuring “butterfly,” I roll up my sleeves, wondering which academic conference to attend next. I hope that my journey becomes someone else’s source of inspiration, a whisper that says, “You can do it.”

♦ Details of the symposium and support for attendees with children at academic conferences will be featured in a special article in the Japan Society of Evolutionary Studies News (scheduled for general release around March).

♦ Also, this symposium was introduced in an article on Toyo Keizai ONLINE by Project Assistant Professor Nakano Madoka, Office for Gender Equality, the University of Tokyo.

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