poster competitions

Julie Stowell j-stowe at
Wed Aug 7 15:43:46 EST 1996

In article <4ualsd$aan at>, lanoilb at (Brian_D
Lanoil) wrote:

> Anyway, I'd like to bring up an issue for discussion.  I have noticed at 
> the graduate student level that many of the competitions, e.g. student 
> poster competitions, are often won by work which is sketchy or 
> incomplete.  I have also noticed that women are often the main 
> researchers on the project.  I am NOT saying that all women have sketchy 
> research.  What I have noticed, though, is that all of the women who win 
> these things are "perky", that is they are all young, thin, and very 
> energetic.  I have also heard competition judges saying things like 
> "attitude counts for a lot" and "she was really charming" when discussing 
> why they chose those students to win.  Does it seem strange to anyone 
> else that competitions like this should be decided on looks and attitude 
> and not the value of the work?

so my first thought was: "sketchy work, but then well explained in person?"
which would count for something, since a scientist who cannot explain
his or her ideas cannot amount to much in the scienctific community

Perky and attractive make for better listening skills on the part of
the judge perhaps too?

RE: value of the work seems vague and based on a general impression of
the field.  Again, I would say enthusiasm for one's work translates to
a better poster/talk and should be awarded credit (even acting credit).

So I would say, maybe the judging is not based on looks, it is just coincidence?

Julia Nash Stowell
Cell and Structural Biology
"not a poster winner, yet anyway..."

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