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All in a Big Name

Big-name academics are "just regular academics with two uninspiring credentials: good connections and a healthy dose of luck," writes graduate student Kevin Hughes in the Guardian.

He argues that PhD students and professors should move beyond the hero-worship that is accorded to certain spotlight academics. "We're getting too old for it," he says. "Especially by the time the dissertation has been written. Shouldn't we expect a measured nonchalance toward the whole notion of big names and so-called great ideas?"

Other academics who are just as smart with ideas that are just as good are often overshadowed as those with big names receive knee-jerk admiration, he says.

"[I]n a universe filled with so many stars and so many suns, shouldn't we astrologers of the arts and sciences be sure to take stock of the whole universe of ideas, not take one star system more seriously than another?" Hughes adds.