Thursday, October 8, 2009
Back to NIU
I'm generally not one to toot my own horn, but seeing as though in this web forum I'm frequently accused of being an "idiot" or other less-than-scholarly authority in science, I'll give myself a toot.
Plus, on a science blog I think it helps credibility, as casual readers seek more information about the training and scholarship of those presenting scientific information. It is good for them to know that I'm not some untrained busy-body conspiracy crank with bankrupt ideas and a heavy agenda.
Last week I was recognized with an award at Northern Illinois University, the place where I did my undergraduate and masters degrees. They tell me that I was one of the top 50 graduates from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a number that I have yet to reconcile as there were more than 70,000 graduates. That's really a nice honor.
I was a bit reluctant to go to the festivities, but I'm really glad that I made the trip. The people that arranged the dinner and awards ceremony did a stellar job. It was great to see old friends and visit my old department.
Most of all it reminds me of why I still work 80 hours a week, deal with 10% grant funding rates, difficult peer review, declining student interest and all of the other issues that make my job less joyful.
It also reminds me why I bother responding politely and accurately to the anti-scientists that attack reason, evidence and scholarship. My efforts at least attempt to offset the anti-intellectualism that is rampant in this country, as well as in the comments of this weblog.
I get these awards now and then and put the plaque or trophy in my bottom drawer. I think that I should probably hang them. Even though I know what I do and don't like to advertise it, others don't know. I suppose that it is important to let people know, whether it is students or blog readers, that I know what I am talking about when it comes to science.