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Making sure I don’t get a big head February 7, 2012

Posted by mareserinitatis in engineering, feminism, research.
Tags: ,

Things have gotten crazy at work.  The university sent out a press release on the Widget, and it’s getting a fair amount of press.  (Much more than I expected.)  In the past couple days, I’ve gotten several emails and have even been interviewed.  I’m having a hard time keeping up as I still have my normal work to do, too.

Like a good midwesterner, I try to anticipate that not all things will go well, so I shouldn’t get too excited.  And the universe dutifully complies and lets me know that this is prudent.

This time, Dr. Husband got an email addressed to both himself and the Minion asking if they were interested in looking at some technology related to the Widget.  The email wasn’t copied to me, and I wasn’t addressed in the introduction.  Incidentally, the articles which had our names also had me listed first in the research team.  There is a good reason for this.

Just an FYI: if you want someone to buy your stuff, leaving off the lead author and main architect of the project is not the smartest move.



1. The Minion - February 7, 2012

They went for the people more likely to fall for their marketing scheme…


mareserinitatis - February 7, 2012

How so? Do they think I’m more likely to go shopping for shoes? ;-D


2. GMP - February 10, 2012

I am not defending them, but usually on papers the lead senior author is last and a junior author is first; so if they wanted to contact the big boss and didn’t know any of you they probably just went ahead and contacted last author.

When I was a grad student, I did most of my work very independently, but my advisor was a coauthor. All the senior people who wanted more technical information about the work would always contact advisor, who would then route them to me, but no one contacted no-name me directly…

But I understand you are ticked off. I was too when I was a grad student, thinking people don’t appreciate my expertise. It gets better once you start getting some name recognition.


mareserinitatis - February 12, 2012

That could potentially explain it. I guess, on the other hand, I’ve been contacted with a “Dr.” in front of my name so many times that I know better than to make assumptions.

In our group, we put names in order of contribution to work. It’s important for even the senior people in our group to have first-author papers, so seniority really doesn’t play a role in author order.


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