Wrote a draft of this post in 2012. Decided to post it now since I included some information about it in a talk and it has gotten some reaction on the intertubes (e.g., Blog about science? Kiss your grant proposal goodbye). This is what I wrote after getting the reviews back and decided, for various reasons, to never post. In retrospect, I think I should have posted then ...
Got this back in a grant review for a project that I have a minor role in:
Outstanding group of individuals, and the organizational and management structure appears sound with clear roles and responsibilities of theme faculty. There is a large focus on developing this for microbiome research, but Eisen seems to be the only team member with this expertise, and may not have the bandwidth to coordinate this on such a large project alone, especially given his high time commitment to his blog.I started drafting a letter to the reviewer - partly about how great I think I am and partly to vent some anger ... here is the beginning:
But then I realized this was a bit too much. I should not let this comment lead me to get defensive about my career, my blog, etc. Plus, I was spending too much time on this. (The above took 2 minutes and 12 seconds to write and then another 1 minute and 11 seconds to highlight and link up and ponder). So I decided to be more concise
- Fuck you.
- Apparently getting elected to the American Academy of Microbiology this year was due to my blogging.
- I have 31907 citations in Google Scholar. What the fuck do you have?
- My blog is in fact about EXACTLY what we were talking about in the proposal, you fucking piece of fucking shit.
- Fuck you.
- You are right in a way - I have little time to spare. Did I somehow not do something you wanted me to do? Fine. Say that. But focusing on my blog just shows you are a ...
Love,But then I realized, cursing was not the solution. Maybe love would be better?
Thank you for your insight. I will do my best to spend less time blogging in the future.
Love,But this still did not seem right. So I decided that the best option was to do nothing. So that is what I am doing. Nothing. No response. No blog post. Nothing. There. I feel better already.
NOTE - I HAVE SENT A MESSAGE OF CONCERN/COMPLAINT TO THE PROGRAM OFFICER WHO RESPONDED INSTANTLY AND APOLOGIZED AND ACCEPTS THAT THIS WAS UNACCEPTABLE. PO SAYS THIS HAD NO IMPACT ON FINAL DECISION. PO PROBABLY RIGHT.
NOTE 2 - I HAVE BEEN ON MANY GRANT PANELS WHERE REVIEWERS OR EVEN PANELISTS MAKE INAPPROPRIATE SNARKY COMMENTS. IN MOST CASES PEOPLE / PROGRAM OFFICERS TRY TO REMOVE THESE.
NOTE 3 - SNARKY COMMENTS ARE MADE FOR MANY PAPER REVIEWS TOO. WHEN I AM HANDLING A PAPER AS AN EDITOR I DO NOT REMOVE SUCH COMMENTS BECAUSE I THINK THE AUTHORS DESERVE TO SEE ALL OF THE REVIEW. I DO SAY THAT REVIEWERS COMMENTS WERE DISCOUNTED BECAUSE OF INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR BUT THAT I FELT THAT AUTHOR DESERVED TO SEE REVIEW.
NOTE 4 - IT REALLY IS TOUGH TO RUN A GRANT REVIEW PANEL. YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING RIGHT - HAVE AS FAIR A REVIEW AS POSSIBLE AND THEN SHIT LIKE THIS HAPPENS. I SYMPATHIZE WITH THE PO HERE. I STILL POSTED THIS BECAUSE, WELL, IT IS WHAT I DO.
NOTE 5 - I DO SPEND A LOT OF TIME ON ONLINE COMMUNICATION. BUT MY BLOG IS ONLY ONE PART OF THAT. I LIKE SCIENCE ONLINE STUFF. I REALLY DO. SO SHOOT ME. THOUGH I NOTE - I THINK THIS ONLY HELPS THE RESEARCH/PROJECTS I WORK ON.
UPDATE 5/4 - some Tweets about this
Jonathan Eisen's response to a reviewer who claimed he spends too much time on his blog. @phylogenomics http://t.co/KPVUCdkjpQ
— Dan Graur (@DanGraur) May 2, 2014
Eisen responds to grant reviewer’s idiotic complaint that his blog takes time…by brilliantly blogging about it. http://t.co/sktHe9jL3L
— Bill Sullivan (@wjsullivan) May 3, 2014
I love how @phylogenomics has an very accurate record of how longs all this typing took http://t.co/LjXb1Xgqnk #datawins
— David Hughes (@ZombieAntGuy) May 2, 2014
#Academic blogging bad for grant proposals. LE SIGHHHH http://t.co/zQJUecUbQy @phylogenomics
— J. McGinnis Johnson (@Prof_McGinnis) May 2, 2014
Hystetical and insightful..perfect..Grant review: you blog too much, Eisen's response - blog about it http://t.co/gxcaNCXfNS
— L Sucheston Campbell (@lsuchcamp) April 30, 2014