Friday, 19 August 2011

Revenge of the professor.

Remember the whole Comment / PRL thing? I'll remind you.

1) Powerful professor writes article with results which are demonstrably wrong.

2) I think about writing a comment. I don't, because it will make a powerful professor angry with me.

2) I do some thinking and get the correct results. I write an article.

3) I tell the professor I am not going to submit my paper as a comment, because that will just make everyone upset. He seems to take this well.

4) My paper is published. Reviews glitter.

Now. Here's the new bit. One of the professor's mates has written a comment on my article. He's sent it to PRL and now I have to defend myself. He has found no fault at all with any of the maths. He has found a problem with the interpretation. If I had included one word, ONE word in one sentence, he wouldn't have been able to complain. That word is "explicit", by the way, and not something game-changing like "not".

So this is it. The top level professor has decided to sabotage my career by sicking his mates on me. Does it matter than the Comment reduces to criticising a potentially misleading piece of grammar (which no-one else has complained about)? No, because the professor clearly has enough power to make sure that he has influence over whoever reviews the comment and my response.

One of my best articles is going to have a Comment and a reply tagged to it, for no good reason, and it is going to make me look shit. This is it. I am screwed. Royally screwed. Becauase of some mummy's boy who can't take it when his physics is crap. Double standard? No, not really. I made this mistake. I wrote:

"we see no dependence on X in expression Y"

I should have written

"we see no explicit dependence on X in expression Y"

The mistake the professor made was this. Instead of writing

"I don't know what to do here, because I don't really understand field theory, what with having spent most of my life using spanners to turn cogs"

he actually wrote

"so I think I'll take gauge theory and maul it so that nothing works properly any more but at least my computer will stop spitting "infinity" back at me and I can whip a paper out."

This is going to FUCK me!

No comments: