Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A provocative question Part II

And here is the second interesting question:
I am impressed that you are able to go to all these International stuttering conferences and to present posters. Do the leading authorities in the field of stuttering take you seriously or are you just a consumer with a PhD who ask good questions? Why don't you study stuttering for real, in a lab?
All the conferences are open to everyone, so no magic there. The same is true for presenting posters. Stuttering conferences virtually never refuse any poster or talk proposal, and at best correct the bad English! Of course, I need to find the time and money to attend. I have managed to reduce the fees, which is a sign that my blog is gaining traction.

The question on whether the leading authorities take me seriously is a very interesting one! Who are the leading authorities? The one that do the key note speeched at conferences or the real leading authorities? My experience is the following: The very good ones (mostly with a natural sciences background) take me seriously, and I am in close contact with some of them. Maybe at the beginning they see me as a consumer and might be a bit patronising, but as soon as I hit them with good or surprising arguments, they are a bit shell-shocked but recover and are happy to discuss research. The other leading authorities simply completely ignore me. I like to think that they are mostly not very good scientists (or have personality disorder!) and became authorities more based on their social, networking, management, lobbying & bullying and marketing work. They do not want to loose their face, or they simply do not understand what I mean. One professor once told me as I tried to convince him that brain imaging is the future: What do you know with a PhD in physics? This person is now co-author on precisely such a brain imaging article! Finally, my work so far is more brainstorming and spreading the news rather than proposing a theory that can be discussed or writing papers. So I am not actually doing real science and not very open for criticism. But, I am currently working on these stuff and hope to send in some articles for review. Also, the stuttering field is not known to be very outspoken in public. Rarely, are there intellectually fierce exchanges on conferences. Many also like to talk to me because I tell them what is going on in their field or we discuss fields where they are not experts either!

So why do I not work in a lab? That is a good question. Maybe I should go into research. I actually had some opportunity, but I only want to go if I really believe that it is worthwhile for me. Also, I still have a few plans for my consultancy work in finance. And, I am a better theorist than experimentalist.


Anonymous said...


So you are frustrated that some important people ignore you...

Do you wish more professors, SLPs and researchers read your blog and don't think of it as waste of time? What can you do to make it happen?

How do you get the leading authorities in stuttering (who has the power and influence) to take you more seriously in the future. Vs. getting ignored and dismissed and worse labeled as irrelevant.

So it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks...the key is probably getting published. Some probably don't respect you because you left physics for more money...or you are "better off" and/or smarter

Tom Weidig said...

I am not frustrated that some do not talk to me or are less than enthousiastic to talk me. Many others seem to enjoy discussion with me. So I am doing just fine!