Are outreach projects worth it?

During the past few days I have been organising the proposal of our Outreach Project for kids in poor communities. More than once I have been questioned whether it is a good idea to embark on this task, considering my workload (projects, students and lectures) and family life?. As a young scientist I have to spend a lot of my time trying to get funding and to build up my lab (students, equipment, etc.). I see with different eyes my previous two bosses, who despite being well-known in their respective fields they had to devote a lot of his time to keep their groups going. At the same time, a friend sent me an article “7 tips for balancing your scientific career and your marriage”. In this article, point seven reads: “Be prepared to give up your position as a scientist, if necessary, for your marriage”. My wife and son are for sure the most important thing in my life, that is why we moved back to Mexico in the first place. So the question stands, is it worth it? Is it worth it to put more pressure on you to do this type of activities?

Having to spend time for this outreach project, if approved, for sure will put more pressure on me, but I feel the society where I live needs it more than ever. Having a wife that has invested time to teach in poor communities or friends who post images of helping other in Haiti, makes me think it is doable. For sure, I will have to be very careful trying to balance my work and family but I guess you never know until you try it. My wife will be participating in this project so I as always I feel her full support on what I do. I need to feel that I did something, although small, to change the situation, that I did not stay idle or indifferent to the problems that we have. This is where I live, where my son and wife lives, and it is up to all of us to change it. I know this project will not solve poverty but at least we want to show kids and parents in poor communities the wonders of science.

Wish us luck!.


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