THE BOOK
Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- due for publication on June 1st 2018. After that, it will be available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
To order, click
HERE

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Professional etiquette



I was interested to see this in one of the pre-publication reader reviews commissioned for the new book:

In his 8 pages of references, John creditably cites the publications of the proponents of the human transport hypothesis and opponents of the glacial transport hypothesis. This is a courtesy which has not been returned in recent papers by his opponents.

That does make me rather sad, since for all sorts of reasons it is good academic practice (and sound science) to acknowledge disputes where they exist, to cite the names and the opinions of those with whom you might disagree, and to address the issues raised with respect to your own ideas which have been challenged.  Where I come from, this is a matter of scientific integrity and respect for other specialists.

I may state my views bluntly and defend them stoutly, but I have never knowingly ignored anything thrown in my direction.  This whole blog is, I hope, a testament to my willingness to engage.  And with 1.3 million hits on the site so far, I take that as an indication of the approval of rather a lot of other people..... 

While I am about it, a word of praise for Rob Ixer in his many incarnations.  He and I may disagree on many things including quarries and human transport, but he is at least prepared to stick his neck above the parapet and to argue robustly.  He and I do sometimes use intemperate language on this blog, but we soon get over it, and in the course of our conversations I hope that we do spread a little light on controversial issues! 

When other academics simply ignore opposing views and slip into a state of denial (as MPP and his colleagues have done in their latest paper), they are either suffering from delusions of grandeur or acknowledging that their own ideas are incapable of withstanding scrutiny.    Should we laugh, or cry?


7 comments:

TonyH said...

Julian Richards is another guilty party on that score too. His latest coffee table book on Stonehenge, published through the auspices of English Heritage, bears witness.

PeteG said...

"the Problem with archaeology is when to stop laughing!" - Dr Glynn Daniels.

My fav archaeo quote,
PeteF

BRIAN JOHN said...

Nice one! I like it!!

SimonK said...

spelling: Glyn Daniel (unless there's another)

BRIAN JOHN said...

Thanks Simon -- there has to be just the one.....

PeteG said...

OMG! I Signed off as PeteF instead of PeteG!
Please excuse my disability.
PeteH

BRIAN JOHN said...

No worry Pete -- on this blog we are all acutely aware of our shortcomings and disabilities....