[LMB] No lefties

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Sat Oct 12 06:41:51 BST 2019

From: WalterStuartBushell <proto at panix.com>

> On Oct 10, 2019, at 11:39 PM, Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com> wrote:
> (Side note: I've heard of other scientists with valid, proven work that wasn't permitted to
> be reported in the right journals. There was a big problem with linguistics; someone did
> some amazing work that proved certain links and developments, but the one Big Man in
> that arena worked very hard to block reporting, pull the funding, discredit the researchers;
> anything to preserve his own status.)

Such a person is not a scientist at least whilst engaging in such activities. One is not a scientist because
one has a degree and publications; one is a scientist if one is a scientist.

Gwynne: They probably started off all bright and shiny. Had a brilliant idea, came up
with a wonderful theory that fitted all the facts, it worked, everyone thought it was
brilliant. And then came the books, the fame, the promotions, the professorship and
tenure, the lectures, the conferences, the career, the satisfaction and respect, the funding
for more research based on that theory. Then along comes some young nobody with
a totally new theory, with proof, that blasts the old ideas out of the water. And a whole
towering career would be gone.

It's understandable that an old, settled, comfortable professor would fight to preserve
a lifelong career, especially when it's far too late to start over. Fight to keep that respect
and position, and status. Totally wrong, but understandable. But we should have a
better way for new ideas to gain traction. How much have we lost because it challenged
an established Big Man or group? I've heard of all kinds of research that lost funding,
and people who were given the 'you'll never work in this town again' threats if they kept
on with some unpopular, or dangerously challenging, research.

More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list