The lack of positive feedback is astounding at all levels in science. I just
went through contract renewal and felt as though the status committee went
looking for deficits. I realize, in retropect, that they were just making
sure that all the i's were dotted etc. so that I have a chance to rectify a
couple of things before I come up for tenure. However, reading a letter that
spelled out my deficiencies, while seeming to make light of my
accomplishments, was not exactly a confidence booster.
It seems that any positive attribute can be rationalized away, while deficits
Perhaps the real question is this: Why is it so easy to criticize and so hard
to praise? Is it just because scientists are trained to be critical? Is it
because the "pie" is shrinking and everybody is safeguarding a piece? Or is
something else going on?
Karen T. Lee, PhD (ktlee+ at pitt.edu)
Dept. of Biology
Univ. Pittsburgh at Johnstown