Jonathan of Working the BENCH describes a visit from a BSD teh awesomest evah scientist type. Career advice was provided:
"Many of the applicants we accepted came from labs where I knew their mentors. Not that I planned it that way - but good applicants come from good labs; and I know the heads of those labs. I know I can trust their letters of recommendations."
I'm sure you can.
we'll call him Dr. Big, is currently the department chair of Ivy League University (ILU). He was previously the head of an institute and the VP of no less than three biotech companies.
Now, I'm not going to let anyone else off the hook. There are plenty of asshats in nonIvy League Unis. But really, do you people have to work so damn hard to deserve a reputation for clownery?
"I always reserve the right to veto any applicant who the hiring committee recommends. This keeps things in order. Sometimes you have to abuse democracy a little in science so that good people can get hired."
And so that good people can get their grants. And their papers accepted to the right journals. And so, you know, we don't get anyone too....uppity in science.
Go read, there's more idiocy from this chap.
The original post finishes with:
Am I missing something? OK, while the view from the top must be nice - I couldn't help from leaving the luncheon thinking that this guy, although a Master at his craft (science), was completely out of touch with the realities of the current job market for young scientists.
No. No, no NO! This farknozzle is not "out of touch". He is the problem. The very essence of the self-perpetuating GoodOldBoy. "Good scientists and good science, well, we can't have that muddied up by objective criteria or democracy or any of that old chap!" "One knows quality when one sees it, wot wot? When I need to hire, I'll just call up my friends and ask them who they have that's ready to go. Makes it easy to keep the right kind of people doing the right kind of science, doesn't it?"
This approach is just. so. wrong. Open competition of ideas is the thing. Block that off, control who can play and you are going to get an inferior product. Period.
Ah well, at least this genius is in good company.