Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

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.

The Scan

Hormone-Based Gene Therapy to Sterilize Domestic Cat

A new paper in Nature Communication suggests that gene therapy could be a safer alternative to spaying domestic cats.

Active Lifestyle Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Prevention in People at High Genetic Risk

A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that an active lifestyle goes a long way in type 2 diabetes prevention.

Beneficial, Harmful Effects of Introgression Between Wild and Domesticated European Grapes

A paper in PNAS shows that European wild grapevines were an important resource for improving the flavor of cultivated wine grapes.

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.