If you happened to check your email moments before a conference session was about to begin and saw that the reviews had just arrived for a manuscript, and your co-author on that manuscript was about to give a talk on the research that is described in that manuscript, would you tell him/her that the reviews had just arrived? Would your decision depend on whether the manuscript had been accepted or rejected and/or on your co-author's pre-talk state of mind?
For example, one might imagine that saying "Hey, our paper was just accepted by The Journal of Awesomely Important Science" might be a bit of a morale boost just before a talk, whereas "Oh, too bad, our paper was rejected owing to some fatal flaws in the data and interpretations, but good luck with the talk anyway" might be a bit undermining.
Most reviews and editorial decisions are more complex; e.g. the manuscript is possibly acceptable pending revision of this and that (and that and that and that). It might be interesting for a speaker to know what flew and what didn't prior to speaking about the work, but perhaps not immediately before speaking about the work. One might imagine that being told "You know that graph you're going to show at the end of the talk? Don't.." could be a bit stressful for a speaker, even if the advice is kind of useful.
And then there's another possible scenario for this situation, which is not, by the way, hypothetical, but another True Life Academic Tale: the co-author announces that the reviews just came, but doesn't provide any more details.
3 days ago