Tag Archives: acknowledgements

The power of “thanks”

Image: Scrabble tiles by Wokandapix via pixabay.com, released to public domain.

Warning: a little saccharine.

My mother, no doubt like yours, was right about a lot of things (although she was wrong about some other things).  One thing she was really, really right about was the importance, and the power, of saying “thanks”.

I know, that seems trivial; but we sometimes forget.  This crossed my radar recently because I saw a tweet exhorting people to thank reviewers and editors (that is, members of journal editorial boards) who had worked, unpaid, with their manuscripts.  A reply* expressed surprise that journal editors might be unpaid (and therefore, implicitly, deserving of thanks).  I had several reactions to all this.

First: some people might think “why should I thank those power-wielding career-destroying gatekeeping mean people”?  I plead guilty to having this thought myself, occasionally and temporarily. Continue reading


The best Acknowledgements section ever

Some people ignore the Acknowledgements sections of papers, but they’re one of my favourite bits. Not because they have much to do with telling the paper’s story – they don’t – but because they can reward a reader with the kind of writing style, personality, and humour that’s otherwise in short supply in our scientific writing. My favourite Acknowledgements section of all time, though, isn’t one that’s particularly funny or beautiful. Instead, it’s one that makes a very profound point about the value of criticism. Here it is, in its entirety: Continue reading

A year of Scientist Sees Squirrel: thoughts and thanks

Image credit: Eurasian red squirrel, Sciurus vulgaris, © Peter Trimming via geograph.org.uk CC BY-SA 2.0

Today is Scientist Sees Squirrel’s first birthday!

 When I wrote my first post, I didn’t have a very clear idea of where blogging would take me. In fact, I was quite explicit that my blog’s content would be unpredictable, both for its readers and for me. It’s good to know I got one thing right, because otherwise blogging has brought me mostly surprises. The meta-surprise: they were almost entirely good surprises. I’m going to tell you about a few of them, chiefly because if you’re intrigued but unpersuaded by the idea of taking up blogging yourself, this might help. Continue reading