Friday, February 09, 2007

Dr Grump and the Funding Crisis

Dr Grump just looked at this study reported on the BBC website and found the conclusion somewhat dubious. It purports to have shown that women prefer men with medium rather than high powered jobs. Now if that were all the information they were given, Dr Grump says, she could accept that that might be the case. But the women were also told what the men's goals were in life - surely that would have a more significant influence.

Dr Grump often comes storming into my room having discovered yet another inconsequential scientific study on the BBC news website - last month there was something about men prefering blue eyed women which set her off into such a long rant about inadequate sample sizes that she almost missed a rather important departmental meeting on funding.
'It would never get past the referees at the University of Urm.' she said, then added darkly, 'Very little does.'

My delightful academic friend is looking a little tired these days. She says she has not been sleeping very well with the worry of it all.
'There is so much I want to do,' she says, 'if only they'd let me.'
Then she showed me another article: one about the discovery of a fossilised first embrace. 'Isn't that beautiful?' she said, 'Just think, all those years ago we were...well, at it.'
'I wonder if he was a middle manager.' I said, examining the interlocking humerii and then the eye-sockets gazing into each other's voids.
But Dr Grump just sobbed, 'Beautiful, beautiful...' again and left the room.


Blogger Sarah Salway said...

ha funny! I saw that study too and wondered along with Dr Grump. Gave me a strange hope though.

Fri Feb 09, 05:07:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fossilised embrace - lovely!
(And thanks Clare, I missed that one.)

As for the conclusions on the research that we might call "medium man", I have to say I could empathise with the findings. But Dr Grump is right - too small a sample.

I'd also suggest that it might be unfavourably skewed. It was a sample of students. I know we have many pursuing lifelong learning these days, but we are not told. If this was a sample of undergraduates, then it's potentially rubbish. Most seem to pursue a career and not think about the settling aspect until a bit later, today. Or is a backlash in progress?

We need to be told.

My final empathies are with Dr Grump's thoughts.

And also my sympathies - I hope Dr G gets some decent sleep soon!

Fri Feb 09, 08:49:00 pm  
Blogger Jonathan Wonham said...

Fossilised hug; there's definitely a story in that...

Sat Feb 10, 01:45:00 am  
Blogger Marly Youmans said...

To think that I might have been able to hack a life in academia, if only I had known about Urm!

Just came back from a dinner party where I sat next to an amusing, elderly man who grew up near the heathy village of Heathrow. He said it is now under runway 23... Ah, progress.

Nine minutes until midnight. Yawn! Hope Dr. Grump is having a happy dream right about n-o-w.

Sat Feb 10, 04:52:00 am  
Blogger Jan said...

2 yrs ago, in a wonderful museum in Cyprus, I saw a similar embrace; the remains of a man, woman and babe, lost centuries ago in an earthquake.
I have a photo I took so shall let you have it.
It was beautiful, unforgettably moving.

Sat Feb 10, 09:05:00 am  
Blogger Kay Cooke said...

That's so delightful - thanks for that little taste of your whimsical humour.

Mon Feb 12, 12:38:00 am  

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