Adventures in Ethics and Science

If you got here by following the link from Dennis Overbye’s story about the movie Dark Matter, you may want to read the post he quotes about Theodore Streleski and the dangers of extreme power imbalance between graduate students and their advisors. (It’s also possible that this time next year I can post a follow-up about the less extreme but still real power imbalances between the tenured and the untenured.)

And now, let me indulge in a tiny bit of grumbling about linkage:

Regular readers of this weblog may have guessed by now that my blogging is not aimed at getting huge traffic. I’m really pretty happy with my modest readership, largely because my regular commenters are so darned good.

But, given that I view blogging as a way to engage in conversations that I think it’s important for us to have, I’m happy when an organ of the “traditional media” notices something I’ve said and points a few more people in the direction of those conversations. The thing is, for some reason I cannot quite figure out, the last two times I’ve been mentioned in such traditional outlets (by Chemical & Engineering News and The New York Times), they included a link to my old blog — you know, the one that hasn’t been updated since the beginning of 2006.

To their credit, when I emailed about it, The New York Times updated the link very quickly. And, I confess, I felt a little … mercenary (or something) complaining about the stale linkage. At the same time, as my better half pointed out to me, getting the URL to my blog right is a matter of factual accuracy, like properly identifying the university that employs me or my professional field. I would have had no hesitation at all firing off an email if I’d been misidentified as a professor at a university other than my own. Why should I feel that it’s a petty thing to ask folks to get the current coordinates of my blog right?

(Add to this the Daily Dish linkage I received for a post I made elsewhere. While it’s nice to get linked, it’s at least mildly puzzling that there was no mention of the name of either the author or the name of the blog, and that the “money quote” was primarily teaser rather than including any part of my argument.)

OK, now I have to polish a paper. More soon!


  1. #1 Nat
    March 27, 2007

    I would think giving the wrong link would be like giving the wrong reference to a piece of research of yours that they are reporting on. I wouldn’t feel mercenary at all.

  2. #2 Lab Lemming
    March 27, 2007

    your old blog has a higher google ranking than your new one. In fact searching for adventure ethics science doesn’t even list this page in the top 10, while searching for dr freeride lists the old one above this one. If the old blog has technorati, it might be time to look up all your link buddies and ask them to change ther addies- unless they are anti-borg activists who do it on purpose, of course.

  3. #3 Abi
    March 27, 2007

    Congrats on your 15 minutes of NYTimes fame!

    After reading that NYTimes story, I was all over your old blog looking for “graduate student” and other such search strings. I didn’t find *any post* with those queries! Now I know why.

    Even in the corrected version, why is it too much for the NYTimes (or its reporter) to cite the post from which that specific quote was taken?

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