True intelligence in industry, not academia

A letter from New York

Dear Editor,

I believe that what Michael Pyshnov encountered (Genetic manipulations, JUST Response, February 7, 2003) is much more common than is generally believed, not just at the University of Toronto, but at most universities.

As a young PhD candidate I found very serious flaws in the (very well funded) work of an internationally known researcher, who was also my thesis supervisor. When I presented him with the results he literally said nothing. Not one word. I left rather confused by his lack of response. The next day the access locks to the area where my research was filed had been changed. I could not access my findings. When I went to find out what was going on, formerly friendly faculty would not talk to me. To make a long and very painful story short, I ended up leaving graduate school and going to work in industry.

It was in industry, not academia, that I encountered truly intelligent researchers, some of whom had similar stories to tell. Over the years I slowly built up my expertise in another discipline and eventually entered a different university, while of course making no mention of the former institution. Ultimately I was awarded the PhD in a completely different discipline to that in which I had begun. But it took another 10 years of my life to do so. Michael's case is not unique it is my experience that much of academia is filled with entrenched, uncaring, and rather small-minded people.

L.T.
New York, USA
Author information withheld by request

Note: This letter was published by JUST Response on February 12 2003.

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