31 Oct '12, 7pm

Scientists, Memoir, and Watson’s Distortion Field

Scientists, Memoir, and Watson’s Distortion Field

Scientists, especially highly successful ones, are often reluctant to write about themselves, to tell their own stories of research and the pursuit of new knowledge. Modesty is only one reason for the furtiveness of the successful scientist. Journalists devote lifetimes to canonizing great scientists, and a chorus of praises from others rather distinctly favors the scientist at the center of the cheering. The scientist who speaks for him- or herself runs the reasonable risk of overlooking the accomplishments of others and inadvertently slighting a less successful worker in the vineyard of science. Yet in letting others speak, the successful scientist can become a kind of journalistic puppet, an actor in a theater of someone else’s design. Because the rare scientist of great achievement is also a celebrity, he is also tempted to eschew brokers and go-betweens, directly reac...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/at-work/innovation/scientists-me...

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