Mike Beversluis

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Science marches on...

Funny cause it's true*: How to publish a scientific comment.

As Prof. Trebino points out therein, the scientific review system is broken on several intersecting levels. Not to say that the whole, messy, squalorous pile doesn't still slowly slide down an entropy gradient towards the inevitable Better and Brighter; Nor does this imply that there are still things which are well-known established "facts" and other things which are widelt known not to be such - that we're trapped in some post-modernist goo of mushy personal "truths." Mostly**. But, all that caveat in place, Moms - don't let your kids grow up to be research professors.

I'd like to note that Prof. Trebino is well-respected in the field of ultrafast pulse measurement, and that if this can happen to one of the big dogs, so to speak, imagine what it's like if you're a graduate student or a post-doc? Fun! Fun fun fun! That's what.

It's also worth noting that, as far as I infer, he's talking about ultrafast pulse measurement, which even the non-expert may surmise isn't exactly the most contentious or politicized topic ever. A couple of such topics spring to mind, but they're neither here nor there. What is here is that you should keep Trebino's tragicomic transcript in mind when someone talks about scientific consensus and points to published papers. This is how those bits of sausage get made.

*Also, I laughed till I cried! You don't have to be crazy to work here, but it helps! Etc., etc.

** I liked bubblegum pop music - is that wrong?

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