Dating other graduate students
Martin gives the hypothetical example of a senior person who uses their charisma, stature, and reputation to seduce—then reject—a junior staff member.
" In such cases—as in many cases where conflicts of interest may be perceived—disclosure is a powerful tool.
Also, scientists who are concerned about maintaining a relationship at work should discuss any potentially fraught issues with "people who are independent, principled, and wise, such as a friend, a counselor, or an ethics adviser," Martin says.
The risk is especially large when one of the two scientists is more senior, or when the two scientists are hired as a couple—a phenomenon that is particularly common in the United States.
Couple hiring across all disciplines in 13 leading U. research universities increased from 3% in the 1970s to 13% in the 2000s, and although there may be good reasons behind the increase—it's apparently good for retaining talent and promoting diversity—the practice can be controversial.
We turn that off in the professional sphere," says Elizabeth Simmons, a theoretical physicist who serves as dean of Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing.
Simmons and her husband each hold a professorship in MSU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, but they often collaborate on high-energy physics projects and jointly supervise graduate students and postdocs.
Regardless of the merits of the practice, it can be tough going for the less accomplished scientist in a faculty pair.
Sometimes, people "do not view the second person in the couple as a true faculty member, but merely as an appendage," Simmons says.
Even when both are established, each member of a scientist couple that works closely together should "always keep a project or paper of their own going," Terrie Moffitt writes.