The Sassy Scientist – Seek The Spotlight

The Sassy Scientist – Seek The Spotlight

Mabi has seen a smattering of presentations at conferences. Some of those had the annotation “invited talk”. She wonders:

How do you get invited to give a talk?

Dear Mabi,

Easy: get noticed. I don’t just mean that you should write a stellar paper. There might just be a chance that people miss it. Out of laziness, a crammed schedule or plain disinterest (wrongfully so, of course). Your gem may just be buried with the dreary masses, only to be unearthed someday by another niche researcher. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t even bother writing, as you need to sling your product to those data-junkies, but it’s the divulgence. Spectacular, apparently ground-breaking, suspiciously insightful, wonderfully concise and illustrated to the point people might think you’re Banksy. Everything to let the spotlight gravitate towards you. Now, before you say “well, this proclamation is vile and you’re just advocating for grandeur, flat-out lying or potential fraud”, I feel obligated to stop you right there and hold a mirror in front of your righteous face. Righteous it most certainly is; can you articulate with a straight face in my baby blue eyes that you’ve never presented your work in such a way that the inferences/implications/conclusions are undoubtedly and unequivocally supported by your data or models? You want to argue that subjective interpretations or conveniently worded hypotheses have never slipped into (or purposely placed in) your papers? You dare say that you’ve never intentionally left out a slew of opposing views/references or (even slightly) downplayed their relevance? I say: those are all terminological inexactitudes! In the rare event that you’re not lying, I can only take my hat off and admit: you’re a better academic than me.

I feel like I’ve ever so slightly strayed off-topic here… If writing a spectacular paper is not your thing, you can always just smooch. Talk to your supervisors and colleagues at your department regularly, drink beers with everyone at a conference (whenever that’s gonna happen), compliment every single presenter in your session, and wear a funny hat. If anything I must advise the latter. Always works to get noticed.

Yours truly,

The Sassy Scientist

PS: This post was written just humbly and without any need for a spotlight … *ahem

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I am currently employed at a first tier research institute where I am continuously working with the greatest minds to further our understanding of the solid Earth system. Whether it is mantle or lithosphere structure and dynamics, solid Earth rheology parameters, earthquake processes, integrating observations with model predictions or inversions: you have read a paper of mine. Even if you are working on a topic I haven’t mentioned here, I still know everything about it. Do you have any problems in your research career? I have already experienced them. Do you struggle with your work-life balance? Been there, done that. Nowadays, I have only one hobby: helping you out by answering the most poignant questions in geodynamics, research and life. I am waiting for you right here. Get inspired.

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