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S L Forsburg forsburg at nospam.salk.edu
Mon Feb 3 06:30:30 EST 1997

Claire Cronmiller wrote:
 ....[stuff deleted].......
> [Is there a difference between candidates 1-5 and 6-10 in a 600-appl search?]
> the answer was a confident "of course there's a difference."  I simply
> don't buy it.  That difference is based on value judgements that have
> little to do with predicting an individual's likelihood for scientific
> success or colleaguial contributions.  I'm tired of the arrogant
> discussions about an applicant's "star quality."  ["He" had the star
> quality, even though "she's" the one who already had an NIH R01 grant as
> a postdoc!]....

This really resonates with me.  I'm so sick of "star quality" when what
they are REALLY saying is "this person interacts with me in a way
that I'm familiar with", or "this person plays the game", or "This
person works for a bigshot so he MUST be better."  I'm
tired of this game thing.   It's not a game.  But the system will
continue to reward the guy who talks a cool line and is unfunded, 
rather than the woman who is quiet and well funded, every time,
 until we get enough people to say THIS IS NOT A GAME and act
 accordingly.  I wonder how much of this reflects the fact that
senior faculty (usually men) are just plain uncomfortable around
smart women.  They want to see themselves in the junior hotshots,
and that means an XY.

For a field that prides itself on objective evaluation of data,
science is doing ridiculously poorly.  My sister-in-law is in 
business and interacts a lot with academics;  in her opinion, 
academics are at least 10 years behind in waking up and including 
"different" sorts of people, so they are losing an enormous talent
pool.  She points out that business can't afford to waste talent
like this, and knows it. 

susan, who is having a REALLY BAD 1997 and is in a very bad mood 
as a result.

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S L Forsburg          forsburg at salk.edu
The Salk Institute    http://flosun.salk.edu/~forsburg
La Jolla, CA

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