In his article “How Not To Succeed Despite Trying Very Hard: One Department’s Story” (The Scientist, May 29, 1989, page 4), writer Eric Anderson brought attention to the disturbances within [the Department of Biological Sciences, State University of New York, Binghamton], eventually leading to the resignation of its chairman. The article stressed the dissatisfactions that had developed in the department during the brief regime of its new chairman.

The impression a reader can get is that most faculty members have achieved little and that they are not particularly known away from our campus. It is his remark that we are “a somewhat stodgy department” with which I take issue.

It is to the credit of this department that many faculty are recognized throughout the world for the quality of their research, quite apart from the grant support it engenders. Many of us repeatedly are asked to review manuscripts—research...

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