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Beaux (and belles) de jour

The news media is going gaga over Belle de Jour — not Luis Bunuel’s film with Catherine Deneuve (a film which I must admit I did not enjoy greatly — found it a bit slow and meandering) but the blogger (whom, I must admit again, I never read until today)  turned out to be a scientist. I admire her courage for speaking the truth, at least for the moment, although it is not difficult to take a contrary perspective. And it made me think of our scientists. I am not thinking of women scientists — I was not making a literal comparison. I was thinking of all those who keep sucking up to senior scientists, more specifically to influential scientists, in the hope of getting a promotion, a prize, or even as little as a public pat on the back.

I have known such people for a while now, definitely noticed them more after getting a job and having several such people as my colleagues. Thankfully, some of my colleagues do not fall into that category. I was reminded of such people in the aftermath of l’affaire d’Ayyadurai, when the majority of comments at my blog and this one were either ad hominem attacks on Ayyadurai, or unqualified support for the Director-General of CSIR, and, anonymous! Belle de jour had lots of reasons to remain anonymous, but what reason do these people have?

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