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Scientific Commenting and Judo

Posted by CeliaMRoss on 03 Jan 2015 at 13:18 GMT

Bastian (2014) makes some important observations concerning the subject of scientific commenting especially “Discussion can build, apply, connect, and update ideas and ongoing work…. success includes rescuing important work from obscurity, and building work and capacity, not just tearing it down.” That is what I strive to do with most of the comments that I write.

I find Bastian’s observations about women in science -- “under-participation” -- thought-provoking. Decades ago I faced sexism in science – a very traumatic experience. However, these days, I see commenting as the Judo of the scientific world where I can have a more even playing field with the big boys – and girls. It’s a wonderful advance. As a former Judoka (Judo player), I learned to use skill to grapple with much larger men in practice. In Judo competition if you don’t attack every few seconds you are penalized for stalling. Perhaps Judo training might be a good activity for future women scientists.

Bastian states, “Rewards for substantive intellectual effort post-publication… would help.” This would also be an excellent opportunity for social justice, giving more people – who didn’t have the assistance of the powerbrokers of science – the opportunity to reach their career potential.

About the author:

Work Cited

Bastian H. A stronger post-publication culture is needed for better science. PLoS Med. 2014 Dec 30;11(12):e1001772.

No competing interests declared.