socialization

Rae Nishi nishir at OHSU.EDU
Wed Nov 25 09:40:55 EST 1998


In article <3655E260.6BBA9FBD at salk.edu>
S L Forsburg <nospamforsburg at salk.edu> writes:

> if the people who get rewarded are
>  the self-aggrandizing show-offs, and the people who do not blow their own
>  horn do not get rewarded or survive well in the field...

Maybe I'm missing out on what you mean by "self-aggrandizing
show-offs"-- many of the prominent neuroscientists in my field are not
what <<I>> would call a "self-aggrandizing show-off"-- they have gotten
there because they have done good work that they have been careful to
publish in quality journals and give well-organized, thoughtful talks. 
The ones that are truly self-aggrandizing are not well-respected, even
if they have succeeded in climbing to the top of the academic ladder. 
True, there is an element of knowing what to present and how to do it
without making yourself look bad.  But you don't have to be so "modest"
as to not mention the advantages of your approach to science or the
logic of your thinking when you're giving a talk.

Could it be that there is a dichotomy between those who want to succeed
and be respected, and those who really want to climb to the top of the
academic ladder of fame?  Is it that you have to be pushy and obnoxious
to achieve the very top and/or to be satisfied with your career?  I
must admit, everytime I go to a Soc. Neurosci. meeting I get very
jealous when I see the folks at the top of the heap; and I feel bad I
can't get my stuff published in Nature, Science, and Cell and that I'm
not in the NY Times or Newsweek being interviewed about my research or
that I'm not at one of those "Top Ten" institutions.  But when I come
back to earth, I realize that I'm chugging along just fine; I'm
reasonably well-respected; I'm funded, I like my lab and my students, I
love my family and I enjoy living in Oregon.


Rae Nishi, PhD
Professor
Dept. Cell & Developmental Biology
Oregon Health Sciences University
Portland Oregon 97201
**that's Orygun, NOT Ora-Gone**



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