Wow. That would give me pause. It sounds like you are doing the right thing, and he is lucky to have someone who is being fair and logical. Props to you!
I'm lucky too. He has turned into a very good experimentalist. When we were in meetings with my former supervisors, I was listening to him talk and I couldn't help feeling gleeful and a bit proud at how articulate and knowledgeable he's become. I like to think I had a hand in that. This also makes the "sacrifice" worthwhile.
giving up authorship = fabulous new career in london...i think it balances out nicely for both of you.
Well, I think if you judge the situation by that equation, I probably win, actually!
That was very generous of you.
I didn't get put first on my undergrad publication because my advisor didn't think of it until it was too late. All the students are in alphabetical order after his name. I was a little sad, but he apologized when I saw him and to be fair, he was battling cancer when the article was submitted.
Plus...now that I'm here it's not like it really matters anyway.
I've not been first author yet, but we're working on a few possibilities just now. I'm always pleased when I get to be an author at all - it's still a novelty :).
True, it's nice just to have your contributions acknowledged. Honestly, I'd be happiest if the damn thing would just get published already, never mind the order of the names.
2006-11-08 22:06 (UTC)
Some loosely related points.
Authorship on anything is like the birthing of a child. Not an easy thing to let go of.
The most important gifts are the ones that give the recipient a part of yourself.
Maybe part of the reason it's hard to let go is because this is, finally, a very concrete thing that signals your absolute decision to depart from academic experimental chemical physics. When I first 'met' you, there were two things that played a large role in defining who you were (not that your amazing and insightful personality wasn't the biggest definition)...and this is a very definite release of the second thing. New beginnings are always hard.
At my lab, we'd just go with alphabetical order since most efforts were quite communal, though in grad school some mystery formula based on a melange of effort and status seemed to be applied.
Ha, I'd totally win if we went in alphabetical order!
I didn't know some labs did things that way. In my field, an awful lot of weight seems to be put on the position of the names, as being first generally means you wrote the paper and did most, if not all, of the research.
Wow. That's very good of you -- the oodles of symbolism can't be helping.
It's the things in life that you don't have to do, but choose to anyway that set you apart from others.
2006-11-09 04:04 (UTC)
Can you two share the first authorship?
No, we can't. One person has to be the main point of contact for the peer review and for any questions that people might have after publication. It should be the person who's most closely tied to the work at the time of submission, which was another reason to turn over authorship to him.
As someone who desperatly desires their name on a paper I am blown away by your selflessness. What a wonderful thing to do.
We are surrounded by negativity, this is amazing. Thank You.
I'm not claiming sainthood for having sacrificed it or anything
But you are still doing a great thing you don't have to for someone else.
Is there a patron saint of experimental chemical physics?