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Tim Gowers and I have something in common. Unfortunately it’s not our math skills.

1 Mar 2016, 08:01 UTC
Tim Gowers and I have something in common. Unfortunately it’s not our math skills.
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Heavy paper.What would you say if a man with British accent cold-calls you one evening to offer money because he likes your blog? I said no.In my world – the world of academic paper-war – we don’t just get money for our work. What we get is permission to administrate somebody else’s money according to the attached 80-page guidelines (note the change in section 15b that affects taxation of 10 year deductibles). Restrictions on the use of funds are abundant and invite applicants to rest their foreheads on cold surfaces. The German Research Foundation for example, will – if you are very lucky – grant you money for a scientific meeting. But you’re not allowed to buy food with it. Because, you must know, real scientists don’t eat. And to thank you for organizing the meeting you don’t yourself get paid – that wouldn’t be an allowed use of funds. No, they thank you by requesting further reports and forms.At least you can sometimes get money for scientific meetings. But convincing a funding agency to pay a bill for public outreach or open access initiatives is like getting a toddler to eat broccoli: No matter how convincingly you argue it’s ...

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