Go ahead & blog about Dr. Famous’ sexy, but crappy paper, most people say

Dr. Famous Poll ResultsI recently did a poll (still running here) about a hypothetical stem cell hotshot called Dr. Famous who might have published a recent paper that was sexy, but crappy.

This situation sure rang a bell with a lot of people!

In fact, a half dozen people contacted me directly (and privately) to talk about it and indicated they knew who Dr. Famous was in real life. Ironically, all 6 mentioned or hinted at a different person. They apparently did not realize Dr. Famous was a symbol, not a real person.

Flipping it around, I wonder how many people out there mistakenly thought that THEY themselves were Dr. Famous?

I could be in real trouble.

Kinda reminds one of that Carly Simon song, You’re So Vain, huh (see below)?

It has that lyric, “You probably think this song is about you!”

Well, the result of the poll are in (see above) and most people (87%) felt that a scientist blogger should in fact blog about Dr. Famous’ crappy paper. About 1/3 of those said to flame the paper and reveal it for the crap it is, while others were more cautious. Reassuringly, only about 1% advocated a sucking up approach.

One thought on “Go ahead & blog about Dr. Famous’ sexy, but crappy paper, most people say


  1. Shortly after I read this latest Dr. Famous item, I ran across a related article in an Atlantic magazine in an apartment where I happened to be staying in Mexico. The piece did not deal with stem cell research but with outing bad, peer reviewed academic science. The article was titled “The Data Vigilante,” who is Uri Simonsohn of the University of Pennsylvania. It said in less than a year he has “blown up” the careers of two academicians in his field, social psychology. Not that he is necessarily happy about it. You read more here. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/12/the-data-vigilante/309172/

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