Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fellowships and Awards

I was just notified that I have been elected Fellow of SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics. In the past, I was very negative about awards. As a young assistant professor, I got a note from the dean of the College of Sciences that he was planing to nominate me for an award. My response to him is reproduced below.

Dear Lee:

Thanks for thinking about awards that would be appropriate for my research area. While I appreciate your confidence that I am a reasonable candidate, I frankly dislike the concept of an award in the sciences and would rather not be nominated. There are many reasons for my distaste for prizes: they distort the motivation for research; they stifle interaction between researchers who worry too much about getting credit for results; they encourage form and marketing over substance; and they consume resources that would be better spent on science. I therefore ask that I not be nominated for an award.

Thanks again for being supportive of our work.

Best Regards
Mark G. Kuzyk

In my older age, I recognize that it is a great privilege to have an employer who supports my addiction to physics, and that awards reflect well on the institution. I truly appreciate my position at Washington State University, where I am encouraged to feed my passions and to infect others around me.

No comments:

Post a Comment