Peer Review System. Play off Broadway

Donald Forsdyke forsdyke at
Sat Mar 18 18:12:46 EST 2000

Last night I saw an off broadway play The Reindeer Biters by
Jussi Wahlgren, a Finish playwright showing the difficult
politics that university researchers have to deal with
to do science research and get funding.

It showed why scientists have a very difficult time under the peer
review system, that their work is often stolen, that jealousy reigns
supreme, that funding is very difficult to get.

It was interesting as it helps one understand why the practices
of support for outstanding researchers and for the people, not
the project and the other practices that research entities
like the Information Processing Techniques Office (that ARPA)
pioneered in the US are antidotes that are needed if scientific
research is flourish.

It helps one to understand why scientists might want to avoid
the limelight and need protection from a research entity if
they are to be able to do important research.

The fact this play presents this dilemma shows that
the public needs to understand the problems of the science

The play was supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education and
was ostensibly about the problems at the University of Helsinki,
but clearly was much broader in its critique.

But it didn't show how scientists manage to survive in such
circumstances. That's the more difficult task both for the playwright
and for the science researcher.

Nice to see something like this as a play.

The play is "The Reindeer Biters" by Jussi Wahlgren presented
by the Luminous Group and Finlandia Theatre at the Grove Street
Playhouse on Grove Street in Manhattan.

ronda at

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