Monday, July 27, 2009

Do you give 110% for science?

I recently skimmed a PhD thesis which contained attempts at geochronology of some unconventional uranium ore minerals. The U concentrations in the data table ranged from about 400000 ppm to about 1700000 ppm, with a mean around 1100000. Now, I am the last person on Earth who has a right to complain about imperfections in a PhD thesis. Indeed, one of the reasons that you are reading these autoqueue posts is that I'm rereducing some of my PhD data from scratch to get it publication worthy. But still. More than a million ppm? Evidently it passed the review in this form, although it is possible that we were looking at a pre-corrections copy. Still. An A for effort, perhaps? Or evidence that in addition to the traditional pass/ pass with corrections/ fail categories, we also need an option to "fail, and send back to 7th grade."

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