Highest Rated Comments

chcknboyfan1870 karma

YOU SIR - are my hero. I emailed you when I was still in high school and months later you actually called me. I was so nervous that I had no idea what to say. Just wanted to let you know how much it meant to me - and school (college now) is going great. Thanks for being a fantastic person!

chcknboyfan20 karma

I'm going to somewhat ignore the bigger context of this thread, but I want to chime in that your experience is not the same as an academic scientist. Science (like many fields) is at least 50% who you know and how you sell your work. You're often literally the expert of a subfield, so you have to sell why your work is important. Due to this, there are almost 0 cases of 'undeniable work'. (I think one good example from my subfield of astrophysics is Lemaitre vs Hubble and who came up with the expansion of the universe. Lemaitre actually published this theory first, but in a small journal.) I think the difference is that in your example, you can directly probe your coworkers' knowledge and track their progress? Scientists (with the exception of mentor-mentee relationships) can't do this, and can only read each other's papers or watch (often flashy) talks.

In the context of this AMA, I think the main issue with scientific credit is that it is a lot less agonist to societal norms than people think. If racism and sexism is an issue in the larger society where the science takes place, it'll be an issue among scientists because academia is not actually a meritocracy on an ivory tower.

chcknboyfan2 karma

Hi Alex! There's been some debate in the community about public vs private funding. I personally think private funding (like Making & Science :] ) is terrific, although I can see how private donations can fund iffy science. Do you have any thoughts on the issue? How do you feel about using things like Kickstarter to fund projects (like the infamous WTF star)? Thanks!