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Letter: Killing Fields

While my name is not Don Quixote, I believe I must fight like him to remain active in science at this time in history. We have created "killing fields," in killing each other's manuscripts and grants. In my environment, this happens far too often, and I am sure many readers have had similar experiences. Most probably share my failure to understand why scientists accept this behavior from each other, and why we don't succeed in reforming the system. (See "Foreign-Born Scientists Face Special Cha

Bert Ph.M. Menco

While my name is not Don Quixote, I believe I must fight like him to remain active in science at this time in history. We have created "killing fields," in killing each other's manuscripts and grants. In my environment, this happens far too often, and I am sure many readers have had similar experiences. Most probably share my failure to understand why scientists accept this behavior from each other, and why we don't succeed in reforming the system. (See "Foreign-Born Scientists Face Special Challenges In The U.S.," The Scientist, June 25, 1990, page 17.)

I offer an example of my own experiences. I submitted what I considered to be a valid, thorough, biologically significant, and well-assembled manuscript to a respectable journal. The work was a one-man effort, and was based on my work in freeze-etching and freeze-substitution. Since English is not my primary language, the article was professionally proofread...

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