Sent: Thu, 08 May 2008 10:59:26 +1000
Neville Jones wrote:Thank you, Neville.Yes, I agree, they are well-made points.
That is the sad case in most places. And mind you, the "climbing up the promotion ladder"
I would just like to paint a slightly less rosy picture as regards the second point, however.
I don't know about Australia, but certainly in Britain, 'successful' climbing up the promotion ladder in academia means getting one's name on as many published papers as possible.
for most scientists, is not about getting a fatter salary, or more prestige and fame.
It is more about getting a job (anywhere in the world will do), that lasts for more than a couple
of years - or if you have one of those already, being able to secure a grant that will allow you
to keep a post doc fed for another year. Most young astronomers (at least) find themselves
bumming around the world for 1-3 year post doc. positions for a decade or two - and that is
not nearly as romantic as it might sound to some.
I thought the rosy picture of life as a researcher, that seems prevalent in this forum, needed
a little reality check... Mind you, I am still not complaining about the life I have chosen.
I love what I am doing - but I am not doing it for the money or the job-security.
That is not quite true. The review process is unchanged and is based on merit.This invariably leads to producing work that only falls within the ruling paradigm of the field.
If the paper in question is controversial the review process can involve many
iterations back and forth, but in the end, if the authors can successfully defend
their paper, it will get published.
That I absolutely agree with. It also leads to major works being chopped into little bitsI would also contend that it leads to reduced quality of individual contribution.
and published one bit at a time, which is rather annoying.
It wasn't that I have no empathy - it was more the case that this is a while back,Furthermore, to dare to attempt to publish non-mainstream work can have catastrophic consequences to one's career, as was the case with Dr. Halton Arp, as Martin pointed out, and as to which I was disappointed to learn that Regner has no particular empathy with.
doesn't stand to be changed now, and that I need to publish a couple of papers
this year, in order to be able to get another job next year - It is for those reasons
that I would consider it a waste of time.
But if you need a few more comments on this, here are some general ones:
1) He is still publishing in all the major astronomical journals. This means he
is NOT barred from the astronomical community because of "wrong" views!
2) Access to a (major) telescope is only through an application procedure.
If your project ranks lower than other projects, as judged by the time
allocation committee, you won't get time at the telescope. All astronomers
face that hurdle, and most major telescopes are heavily over-booked.
P.S. Bernie, I bet the author of the original quote you sent in was a Scot.
Sent: Wed, 7 May 2008 15:29:21 +0000 (GMT)
Regner TThis post has all the attributes one could wish for in a statement -- accurate, economical, eloquent, honest and sufficient.I am impressed.Paul D