PhD & careers
berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Sat Sep 16 11:56:57 EST 1995
Reply to Joe Teodoro's last postings.
Dear Joe: You present many points. Thanks.
It will give people a lot to think about.
Contary to many, I don't insist that my
views are the "only right ones" [ only
idiots insist on this ] and simply say
what I believe/see/comprehend on the basis
of my university teaching & research
experience (25 years).
Some comments are below.
On Sat, 16 Sep 1995, Joe Teodoro wrote:
[some stuff deleted]
> As much as I respect Mr. Gates and admire his achievments, buying a
> computer operating system and tweaking it's performance before selling it
> to IBM hardly qualifys as academic research. Mr Gates's talents, perhaps
> like many frustrated young post-docs and investigators, was better suited
Glad for him
> ... Although this is an entirely different issue from
> the initial thread, I
> believe that many, myself included, would dissagree
> with your statements.
> There have never been so many journals publishing
> high quality science as
> there are today.
Yes, this is something on which there is a lot
The main catch here is what is meant by "high quality
science". Diversity of views on this is quite broad.
For example, one can say [ and many people of
undisputable international reputation DO SAY this ]
that 80 or 90 % of all papers (or some would go as
high as 99 %) published in Physical Reveiw,
J.Molec.Biology, ... (and scores of other similar
journals) is just a redundant garbage.
Where you see it, is entirely up to your tastes and
belief system, but you will find many on either
side of the issue. [ many variations of the theme ].
> It often seems that many researchers take high quality
> science for granted and believe that nothing significant
> ever occurs.
Yes, as I just said, it is a matter of belief/tastes.
Even within the same university department you can find
people who will strongly disagree what is important, what
> suppose such statistics would depend on how one defines
> a "breakthrough".
Yes, and you probably know what Bismark said
about statistics. In talking about "number
of (recent) breakthroughs" statistics will be
a particular nonsense. All you (or me, or whoever)
can put up here is a (highly subjective) feeling
of what goes on and have other people form their
> I find the task of keeping up with the flood of
> reports in my field very
> difficult and at times even impossible.
Not only you. (here I must gratefully reciproctate
to you with the same invitation: "Welcome to the
real world, Joe" which you just issued for me
in a previous poster). This is precisely a corollary
to a publish-perish syndrom which you apparently
tend to dismissed as a pseudo-effect (your
You should set yourself to the uphill battle,
should you decide to continue. Good luck & cheers.
> >(Molecular biology: where is cure for cancer, AIDS,
> >Alzymer [sic], .................................) ?
> In defence of molecular biology, the biololical basis for many forms of
> these disorders have become known. We know exactly whats wrong in many
> cases right down to the exact mutated gene and specific DNA base pair
I been hearing this for the last 30 years. Promises, promises.
Just recalling an old Russian joke:
A reseach Institute was organazed to develop
a high technology for a direct conversion
of s-t to a butter.
After 10 years of hard work a progress report
"We ALMOST achieved the goal - you already
can spread, but still can't eat".
> Although the underlying molecular basis for these disorders
> are understood, the problem now shifts to how it can be
> repaired ...
see the above
> Thanks anyway Alex, unlike some, I'm quite
> happy with my chosen profession.
So am I. One of the reason I spend time
on these posting discussions.
Alexander A. Berezin, PhD
Department of Engineering Physics
McMaster University, Hamilton,
Ontario, Canada, L8S 4L7
tel. (905) 525-9140 ext. 24546
e-mail: BEREZIN at MCMASTER.CA
> Joe Teodoro teodoro at medcor.mcgill.ca
> Department of Biochemistry
> McGill University
> Montreal, Quebec
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