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linden higgins linden at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU
Wed Feb 5 11:41:19 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.

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

This resonates with me as well - I found out on Monday that two people
(both male) who were in grad. school with me, who went on and did
"pedigree" post-docs while I went & got my own funding & pursued my own
research, are both getting interviews at really good universities - while I
have yet to be contacted by anyone.  I _have_ played the game, as I
understood it - 2 publications/yr, independent research funding, teaching
experience (including non-majors and majors lecture courses) -- but no one
fancy up there writing glowing letters, and no fancy invited lectures,
either.  So these guys (although sex is probably not an issue except in so
far as they play the game differently) who I _know_ are no better than I,
are getting the interviews at top universities & I'm doing temp-teaching
and getting feelers from 4th rank institutions.

Other than hanging in there (which I've been doing since '88), and trying
to get fancier letters of reference, and keeping up my publications, and
keeping up my research, and sending in grant renewals & doing a reasonable
job with my teaching (that is something neither of them do --) what else is
there?  I finally decided to just "get on with life" (i.e., have a child -
but (in case anyone is curious & on a search panal out there) I am still
doing research & submitting manuscripts!).  But I turn 40 next year.  How
long can one tread water?

Linden, who is also having a bad '97!

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