A man's hand holds a tree identification book and a clipboard against his body. He is wearing a field vest. Text: Golden. A Guide to Field Identification Trees. Of North America.

NSF DEB discusses the who’s who of grants

A man, who is holding some scientific equipment in a waist-high pool full of water looks over his shoulder at other people doing similar work in the background.

We’re pleased to reblog this DEBrief post addressing myths about cover pages, status, and credit. DEBrief is the blog of the Division of Environmental Biology, NSF.



A lot of ink has been spilled (bits transferred? attention drained? bandwidth clogged? liquids imbibed? anachronistic metaphors tortured?) with various arguments about the hierarchical nature of science and the race to better position oneself versus one’s colleagues. Whether it’s questions of appropriate authorship, proper acknowledgement, or implicit vs explicit signals for the valuation of individual contributions, it seems like there’s a new discussion every week. Many of these arguments seem to break down around the point where it’s realized that field A, sub-field 1 and field B, sub-field 6 have strikingly different cultures surrounding these issues and the present lessons/problems/solutions from A1 may run counter to the lessons/problems/solutions in B6 even though both use the same short-hand: postdoc problems, authorship problems, tenure credit.

These ongoing cultural dialogues spill over and often get mixed into the proposal and merit review process leading to a proliferation of different beliefs, local customs, and…

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