OpenBiome external affairs associate Justin Chen, a former STAT intern, recently offered a deep look at how six years in science, and the ensuing monomania, had affected his personal life.
Chen details a period marked by 60-90 hour work weeks and a “normalized” obsession for his research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“Together, we normalized our monomania,” Chen writes in a piece published on STAT. “At times it was beautiful — a force building upon itself to generate new ideas and discoveries. But academia also enabled our worst workaholic impulses.”
The many late nights and rare on-time moments created a major strain on Chen’s relationship with his partner, who grew tired of expecting different behavior.
“Do you know how stupid I feel waiting for you?” Chen says she would ask him. ” … I’m lonely.”