At a recent meeting, a workshop participant I had never met before referred to a senior FSP as a "dragon lady". I asked him why he called her that. I suppose the FSP in question can be a bit fierce at times, but mostly I know her as a very smart researcher with a nice personality and a sense of humor. This man said that she had chaired a committee he was on and that she'd really "cracked the whip" to get the committee to do what it was supposed to do. During our workshop, I found him to be a bit of a ditherer, so it was easy to imagine that he needed some herding (with or without a whip) for a task that had a strict time limit. At the recent meeting, I saw this same man hanging around with a male professor who is rather famous in our field for being very fierce and even rather cruel to students and junior colleagues. "Dragon gentleman" doesn't seem to be a term in general usage, nor does it have the same impact as "dragon lady". However, rather than inventing a new term, I think we need to get rid of one. "Dragon lady" might be clever and funny in some circumstances, but not when describing an FSP who was just doing her job.
On another topic: the Blog Of Note phenomenon still seems to be going on. To those who found this site via that route, welcome and thanks for your comments, although I haven't been able to keep up with all of them and provide answers to all who left questions. Site traffic went up from the typical 600-800/day to 5000-9000/day, though I'm sure it will start to subside soon.
2 days ago