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Re: A helpful thought

> From: Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. writes:
> Here's perhaps the most helpful thought of all:
> Don't piss off the professionals. Especially if you hope to 
> be one someday.

"John R. Hutchinson" <jrhutch@rvc.ac.uk> writes:

> Some researchers are more forgiving or have thicker skins than 
> others, but
> it's very much worth keeping in mind.  Some researchers have long 
> memories
> of even little slights even if they come from "just another 
> dino-weenie" or
> "Comic Book Guy" as some might say.

There are two rules (well, actually, one rule and one corollary):

Rule #1:  Never piss off a professional, particularly if you hope to be
one some day.

Corollary to Rule #1:  If you post long enough (many years) and
frequently enough, you will *inevitably* break Rule #1 at least a couple

One often breaks the rule without even knowing one has broken it.  It is
akin to an infinite number of chimpanzees typing on a keyboard for an
infinite amount of time.  Eventually an iteration of the chimps' random
pokings will be a Shakespeare play.   ;-)

"John R. Hutchinson" <jrhutch@rvc.ac.uk> writes:
> Of course it cuts both ways;
> professionals benefit from acting professionally too.  It's a big 
> list.
> Google hits the archives a lot, so whatever you say has some degree 
> of
> immortality, as well...

A lay person can get a rough sense of the private dynamics within the
professional science world by noting who has co authored with whom, the
frequency of certain co authorships, and who tends to publish alone.

But overall, the academic dinosaur paleo community seems to be a lot more
congenial than are professionals in some other science disciplines. I
have heard that anthropology can be nasty, and genetics research has its
share of behind the scenes Doc-on-Doc action.

Although dino paleo does have a couple of outcast researchers, from my
limited perspective it seems to be a fairly jovial crowd.  I think a lot
of the credit should go to the close interaction between professionals
and lay people.  One side receives an education in evolutionary biology
that it wouldn't otherwise get, while the other side is encouraged to
leave its ivory towers to talk to its followers.  You usually don't see a
similar symbiotic relationship between, for instance, genetics
researchers and 8th graders.  But you sure do with paleontology.

Don't get me wrong.  I believe that hot Doc-on-Doc action has its place. 
It just needs the proper venue.  And it should be video taped.  With good
lighting.  And with funky 70's background music.

And it probably would be best if the 8th graders didn't watch it.