Science Stereotypes -5- Challengers


The challengers can stay hidden for quite a while at conferences or institute seminars. They will sit quietly trough most of the talks; but while have intermittent and impulsive needs to provoke speakers.

  • They will ask questions in such a way that it makes the speaker look like a 5th-grader, or like a incompetent abuser of taxpayers money.
  • They will typically revoke the entire data set on the basis that they ”just don’t believe it”, or that the contribution to the field is just as high as the latest season of  “America’s Next Top Model”.
  • The challenger might also interrupt you every 20 seconds during your poster talk, or interrupt you discussions to challenge you on very detailed technical questions about your experiments.

How to deal with them ?

The fact that they might lack basic manners, courtesy, and diplomacy, does not mean you should loose those qualities. Try to stay professional, composed, and logical. Especially if you’e answering one of their weird questions, statements, or opinion in front of a larger audience. You don’t wont to look like a jerk as well.

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