Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Path to Professorship at MIT: with or without alcohol?

Recently I sat on a panel at the "Path to Professorship" event at MIT, for graduate students and post-docs. After the afternoon panels, it was announced that there would be a reception with wine. However, during the reception, a photographer who came to take a picture of the group with whom I was talking asked the woman holding a glass of wine to put it down while he took the picture: apparently, it's ok to drink wine, but not to post pictures of people drinking wine!

6 comments:

  1. Alas, it is not good business sense to be seen with alcohol in the US, according to this U Michigan study

    http://www.psychworld.com/drinking-with-boss-is-not-smart-2010-09

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  2. Claire, happy Halloween to you too!

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  3. Likewise.
    Thanks for being the only blogger who said a few words about the scientific content of FOCS!

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  4. The trick is that a photograph decontextualizes. Have a look at the pictures on Facebook from some of your less judicious friends. A friendly glass of wine at a very professional gathering can be indistinguishable in a photo from a drunken party.

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  5. Totally agree with anonymous. In addition, do not forget that the United States has an uneasy relationship with alcohol; for instance, if I understand correctly, no money from federal grants can be used to pay for alcohol, this is why many US professors, when dining on official travel, request separate bills for food and alcohol. It would be too easy to take this photograph and put it somewhere with a caption like "See what they do with our tax money? They get drunk like frat students."

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  6. DM: I think the policy makes a lot of sense. I think it is high time we took alcohol for the dangerous and pernicious drug it really is. It is only a vestige of the old times that something that seems to beat banned substances like Marijuana and LSD on every axis of harmfulness is even now a socially acceptable beverage.

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