Go ahead & blog about Dr. Famous’ sexy, but crappy paper, most people say

Dr. Famous Poll ResultsI recently did a poll (still running here) about a hypothetical stem cell hotshot called Dr. Famous who might have published a recent paper that was sexy, but crappy.

This situation sure rang a bell with a lot of people!

In fact, a half dozen people contacted me directly (and privately) to talk about it and indicated they knew who Dr. Famous was in real life. Ironically, all 6 mentioned or hinted at a different person. They apparently did not realize Dr. Famous was a symbol, not a real person.

Flipping it around, I wonder how many people out there mistakenly thought that THEY themselves were Dr. Famous?

I could be in real trouble.

Kinda reminds one of that Carly Simon song, You’re So Vain, huh (see below)?

It has that lyric, “You probably think this song is about you!”

Well, the result of the poll are in (see above) and most people (87%) felt that a scientist blogger should in fact blog about Dr. Famous’ crappy paper. About 1/3 of those said to flame the paper and reveal it for the crap it is, while others were more cautious. Reassuringly, only about 1% advocated a sucking up approach.

The identity of Dr. Famous of the stem cell field

I recently did a post and a poll on whether a blogger scientist should blog about a very weak, but sexy paper from a famous, powerful scientist whom I called “Dr. Famous”.

The poll is still getting a lot of hits so I’m not going to discuss the results yet as it is still ongoing.

However, something quite interesting has happened in the mean time that I want to blog about.

Six people have privately contacted me assuming (A) that I meant a specific person by Dr. Famous and (B) either guessing or already sure they know the identity of Dr. Famous.

Remarkably, all six told me/implied to me that Dr. Famous was a different person!

This has mad me laugh out loud multiple times, but then also it kinda worried me because I’m wondering if all these candidate Dr. Famous people might get mad at me.

So some clarity is needed.

Folks, there is no one, specific Dr. Famous, at least not to me. But apparently to you guys there are many specific Dr. Famouses in the stem cell field.

Sorry to disappoint. Dr. Famous is a symbol, not a real person, to me at least.