Publishing too Much

Too many notes. I think it must have been one of the envious ones. The real reason is that John Thomas was using all the funding to build up his group. Eurwyn Evans, J. O. Williams, David Parry and a few others were all awarded tenure without advert and competition from 1969 to 1978, when Thomas abruptly left for Cambridge. The obvious weakness of the system is that there was no way of applying for tenure from post graduate and no objective measure of who should get tenure. So I use a measure based on prestigious post doctorals and on the Scientiae Doctor degree, a distinction higher than a tenured full professor as intended in 1860 by University College London. By 1978 I had already won six post prestigious post doctoral fellowships: SRC, ICI European, NRCC, JRF of Wolfson College Oxford, Ramsay Memorial Fellowship of University College London (won by a furlong at a canter) and SERC Advanced Fellowship. I won two prestigious Medals in 1978 and 1979, and earned the D. Sc. in 1977 / 1978. I had been offered lectureships in Swansea and Trinity College Dublin. So I was far ahead of the EDCL competition, who were awarded tenure arbitrarily and without any objectivity or chance for any competition. David Parry told me that he was just hauled in to John Thomas’s office and awarded tenure. The system was so completely corrupt that Purnell could force Jeremy Jones into wrecking a large part of British chemical physics and in to wrecking the EDCL. The system was completely cynical and died from within. I was a Welsh speaker who wanted to work at Aberystwyth.

Sent: 29/04/2013 17:10:27 GMT Daylight Time
Subj: Re: Question for Gareth Evans

Agreed about distorting facts. It is easy to get carried away in all walks of life and if we all saw things in the same way then we would all be arriving at the same conclusions. Academic freedom is about having and developing your own viewpoint. Had you been locked into the system would the otcome and contributions have been the same? Who knows – but you should have been given the chance and allowed to develop your work in the way and directions that were obvious and natural to you. “Publishing too much” – whoever first coined that phrase was the person that did most damage to you because the rest latched on to it and followed like sheep. Look at all the ECE papers. Each one tells a story. That is not publishing too much – that is how thought at the forefront of knowledge evolves.

— Original Message —
Subject: Re: Question for Gareth Evans

Much appreciated. I think that tenure was and is the weak point of the system because it could be misused for the purposes of careerism, or misused as in the case of Purnell. The system never offered an explanation, it started with “no money”, which went on for about twenty years while hundreds were awarded tenure, then lapsed into silence. The important thing is not to distort any facts, because that defeats the purpose of history.

In a message dated 29/04/2013 10:42:34 GMT Daylight Time, writes:

You have a great writing gift Myron – one of many talents. I think you must write an autobiography as you see it. You are an objective scientist and writing facts as you see them is is what comes natural to you. Others may have seen things differently from their perspectives but that is for them to explain. Simple fact is, you are the greatest living scientist and should have had tenure years ago. Who can now argue againgst that?

— Original Message : Question for Gareth Evans

What do you think of the second volume of the autobiography so far? From 1971 onwards you were an undergraduate at the EDCL, and a graduate from 1974 onwards, so you can remember many of the events. I think it is important to write accurate history, nearly all the histories written by those in power are distortions. The autobiography is in a belles lettres style as you can see, but is intended to be truthful and accurate. It cross refers to the Omnia Opera, which of course gives the science.

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