Thursday, January 20, 2005

Scientific etiquette

So yesterday I went to a meeting in another department, and was saddened to realize that they're just as rude as most everywhere I've been.

This was not the first time I went to a meeting where I knew no one, and no one even attempted to make contact. Not only did no one ask who I was, but no one introduced themselves, either.

Sometimes I will pipe up and ask if we can go around the room, but this time I didn't have the energy to bother.

I was especially disappointed since this particular department has a reputation for being interdisciplinary and creative.

Hard to be creative in a group without talking to each other---?

I'm so tired of scientists who have no manners. I don't care if you're shy, introducing yourself will not cause hell to freeze over!

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At 10:04 PM, Blogger Megan said...

Sadly, it's not just the sciences that seem to be missing the "nice" gene. I think grad level students and faculty tend to be less friendly because of competition. Then again, maybe I'm just saying this because I decided not to continue on for a PhD after all and I'm bitter towards those who are doing just that. Nah, I think everyone else just sucks.

Hey, I like your blog, btw. I happened to search mine one day and found your link to it. I was extremely flattered (I tend to forget others have the possibility of reading it). Although I'm not a "science person," I think you have a universal voice when writing. Hope you don't mind me peeking in!

At 11:23 AM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...

thanks! and welcome!

At 11:25 AM, Blogger - i said...

Some of us are drawn to the sciences in part because they provide an environment where we don't have to deal quite so much with these intolerably burdensome social games and rituals.

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...

Oh, I agree that it's nice to cut down on the crap.

Actually a friend of mine who works in industry admitted to me that more than half of her job is kissing ass.

It's a continuum, like everything else. Either extreme is unbearable.

But, the thing that bugs me about scientists is, they're a bunch of hypocrites. In theory, we're supposed to be more objective, more rational, and perhaps less swayed by charm and politics because we're supposed to be able to see right through that stuff to the 'truth.' Or something.

The fact is, scientists are not immune to charming, sleazy politicians. I think quite a lot (I won't try to give a number here) of the most successful scientists got there by having those smarmy, social skills. I can think of plenty of examples of extremely intelligent scientists who are not famous, and plenty of famous, successful scientists who are, to put it bluntly, not that smart.

At 12:50 PM, Blogger Junniper said...

It's interesting that scientists are guilty when it comes to lacking manners.

In my experience, I have the most trouble with rude computer tech people. It is nearly impossible to get a computer fixed without at least four phone calls. And then, if you talk to four different people, they don't communicate with each other, so you end up with four different people coming over to solve the problem after enough harassing.

ANYWAY. Thanks for dropping by my blog. Mayhaps I will post a link to your blog as well! I love reading about other peoples' rants.

At 5:23 PM, Blogger Laestrygonian said...

Yeah, smart people don't have time for manners... :P

At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if you can't get a scientist to release data on a project your working on together? E-mailing the person more than 3 times and still no response.
They are senior to you so you can't demand they release the material, yet you can't publish without it.


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