25 January 2009

Throwing Tomatoes

Isn't it a nice feeling to feel that one has accomplished something? Recently, I got that feeling again, since I was able to check off some things to do from my plate.

So yesterday, as I was doing my laundry, I was sitting down working on my laptop, trying to finish my slides for my upcoming talk. After all, my talk was exactly three weeks from yesterday. So I had to finish the slides and make the handouts. And around mid-afternoon yesterday, I finished it.


I think I have all of what I need. I will then type a manuscript of my talk, although I do not intend to deliver that talk using a manuscript, but having an example manuscript will be easier to time the whole thing. I have been allotted twenty minutes of talk time, and an additional ten minutes of questions. The usual time limits apply.

It shouldn't be hard delivering this talk; after all, I know my research like the back of my hand, but I am reminded by what my adviser told me the other day. He told me that our job as academics is to throw tomatoes at other people in a nice way. By that he means that we have the obligation to critique and shoot down other people's research in a diplomatic manner. That's how science works. The current view is held as true, until someone comes up and challenges the current view. People who think that the current view is correct will come up with challenges against the person who has a new idea, but if after every test and trial, the new idea is still the better idea, then the community adopts the new idea and holds it to be true. That's just how the scientific method works.

And now it is my turn to be thrown tomatoes at. We'll see, I think I will still be standing after the affair.

(Meandering Path, from my Mount Vernon Series)


  1. Hey LIW, all the best for the tomato day. Since I haven't been here for weeks, I have to dig archives to find out what this is about!

  2. That is fine...as long as they don't throw tomatoes at you ... ;-)

  3. Priyank,

    It's a conference I am attending in a couple of weeks. I am giving a talk about my research.


    I do hope they don't!