. The following appeared as part of an article in a popular science magazine.
“Scientists must typically work 60 to 80 hours a week if they hope to further their careers; consequently, good and affordable allday child care must be made available to both male and female scientists if they are to advance in their fields. Moreover, requirements for career advancement must be made more flexible so that preschool-age children can spend a significant portion of each day with a parent.”
The argument claims that if scientists want to advance in their careers they have to work 60 to 80 hours a week. Consequently, scientists have to provide their children a good child care, which will be replacement for their parents for part of a day. Also, requirements for advancement in career must be made more flexible so that children every day spend certain amount of time with their parents. Stated in this way the argument manipulates facts and conveys a distorted view of the situation. The conclusion of the argument relies on assumptions for which there is no clear evidence. Hence, the argument is weak and has several flaws.
First, the argument assumes that scientist are the only people who have to work long hours and sacrifice private life in order to further their careers. This statement is a stretch since the argument claims that people with occupancies other that in science field do not have to work hard and long in order to advance in careers. Every employee who wants to achieve success in career has to be hardworking and prepared to do long hours. The argument could have been much clearer if it provided additional information that scientist job is not the same as any other job.
Second, the argument claims without justification that requirements for career advancement must be more flexible. This is again very weak and unsupported claim since the argument does not provide enough evidence to support its claim. To illustrate, it is absolutely possible that requirements provide sufficient time interval that scientist can use to spend time with their children. If the argument had provided evidence that scientist do not have enough time to spend with their families that the argument would have been a lot more convincing.
In order to assess the merits of a certain situation, it is essential to have full knowledge of all contributing factors. In this particular case whether scientists job differs from other jobs and whether current requirements for career advancement are too strict. Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open to debate.
Kudos if you like the post!
Failing to plan is planning to fail.