Appropriateness (was Re: NO.)

Wayne R. Baker baker at
Fri May 5 21:41:36 EST 1995

In bionet.molbio.proteins,  Kevin Gardner <gardner at> wrote
:David Jones (jones at wrote:
:: like spilling the cat out of the bean bag, if George Rose has 
:: presented work at a public meeting then it would be perfectly
:: reasonable for someone attending the meeting to discuss what
:: was presented. Let's not forget that the dissemination of ideas is
:: the whole point of giving a talk. Now of course if this was all
:: discussed privately or if the talk was say a departmental seminar -
:: then of course you can and must say nothing.
:Hmmm.  Just out of curiousity:
:Where is the dividing line between a between a "public" vs. a "private"
:forum?  I can see the obvious differences between say, a 1500 person
:meeting and a 1-on-1 conversation, but departmental seminars strike me
:as being an especially grey area.  My department advertises it's
:seminars to the whole Yale biological/ chemical community and
:occasionally you can get a talk w/200+ people present.
:I'm sure there are guidelines toward these things w.r.t. patents
:and whatnot --- can anyone offer an informed opinion?

I think the issue is more a matter of what *this* forum represents.
Discussing a seminar in small groups is a routine occurrence within
departments, but this forum has much larger audience. And while a
departmental seminar is certainly public dissemination, you don't put a
reference to a lecture like that in a manuscript. It seems like we've
hit upon a little gray patch in the area of suitability of
topics/sources for discussion. Maybe this deserves some debate. 

Wayne Baker (baker at		Maybe a great magnet pulls
Biochemistry & Biophysics		All souls towards truth
Iowa State University			-- k. d. lang, "Constant Craving"

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