Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Turnabout

Years ago, a certain senior professor in my field slammed my nomination for an award, saying that I published 'too much' and therefore my getting such an award would only reward this behavior. The award went instead to a young male scientist who had published too much. Fast forward to this week.. this same senior professor wants to collaborate with me. He sent me an email, proposing a project that relies on my expertise and my lab. Should I write back and say "OK, we can do this, but only if we don't publish the results?". Of course I won't. I'll say sure, we can do this.

12 comments:

etbnc said...

Ummmmm.....

Why?

Would this potential collaboration benefit you and/or your team?

Ms.PhD said...

Your considered response made me laugh.

Too much, eh? LPUs? Or just too much for a woman?

Well one thing I know for sure: most scientists have a terrible memory for how they've offended you in the past. I'm currently doing one such "bury the hatchet" experiment myself. I'll let you know how it turns out.

TW Andrew said...

You should at least make a subtle, but snarky, remark at some point during the collaboration. Just to make him feel awkward.

Helen said...

I'm with the etbnc -- why collaborate with this person? You've already got a clear indicator of behavioral problems that have already affected your career. Why go for more?

Anonymous said...

You must not be telling the whole story. Why would you want to collaborate with this person otherwise ?

TP

Mr. B. said...

Hmmm....

Sometimes there is a weird satisfaction in having sobs who have dissed you in the position of needing your expertise.

Bonzo knows

Jenny F. Scientist said...

Well, I hope you at least file away some even ruder but-not-out-loud responses, like 'Take your proposal and stuff it into a painful bodily orifice until you learn not to be a sexist pig!'

Female Science Professor said...

I can easily do the project, and I'd rather focus on how interesting the research and results might be. There are people with whom I would never collaborate, but this isn't one of those extreme cases.

anon said...

No Bonzo, there is no satisfaction. There is only annoyance that you have to help them to be seen as nice by others or to get results you want, and knowing in the back of your mind that the sob might still be an asshole in the future (to you or others like you) no matter how much they thank you and are nice to you. There is also the impatience of getting the project finished as soon as possible.

The comes the satisfaction of being done with the whole thing and not having to deal with them for the next little while.

Anonymous said...

I think you can have it both ways here but only if you have enough information and you are very careful. I think you must absolutely make it very clear to him that you remember very keenly how you were slammed (and publicly) by him in the past for that and how you are specifically doing him a great favor and service to work with him, that a lesser person would clearly not do so. But I have seen that people like this have more than just the one flaw and I think where you MUST be careful is not to be totally screwed, to put it bluntly, to collaborate with someone who thinks poorly of you for reasons that are obviously not honest. If you can see a clear way to gain a lot from this and not get screwed over, I would definitely go for it and get a little knife twisting in while I was at it--it's for his own good.

Female Science Professor said...

I am not a knife-twisting kind of person, though maybe there is a fine line between being professional and being a doormat. I wouldn't enter into the collaboration if it didn't interest me in some way. I plan to do enough work to see if the project is viable and interesting, and then decide how far to go with the rest. And I am going to direct the project, as it is based on my ideas and some techniques I've developed.

Anonymous said...

good for you FSP - show them you are better than this silly revenge - if science can benefit, why not collaborate with this person?