by Karen Topakian
This week’s Science section of the New York Times features a conversation with Carol W. Greider, a recent winner of a science Nobel. She stands tall in a small class of eight women who have ever won in physiology or medicine in the history of the Nobels in science.
What struck me about the conversation with her was what she was doing when she received the early morning call from Stockholm. Laundry. “…I was already up and it was staring at me.”
How many other Nobel winners had ever been doing that same task when they received the call? Would a male winner have been sorting the darks from the lights?
According to a 2008 Gallup poll about housework, 68% of married adults say the wife does the laundry. The only activity that a man would more likely be doing is “keeping the car in good condition,” (69% of all married respondents said the husband was most likely to do this chore.)
I would bet that most men who heard from the Nobel Committee were doing exactly what President Obama was doing at 6:30 a.m. Lying between the sheets not tossing them into the washer.