Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Small Consolation in the Research World

I've been hitting the books hard recently (it hurts me more than it hurts them, but at least it vents my anger) for research purposes. I decided to read the introduction to a massive textbook dedicated to the Appalachians for kicks, and I came across this great anecdote.

"Every geologist who has conducted field work for any length of time in this region has had at least one unique experience to be remembered for a lifetime. Perhaps the late Hugh Miser said it best, "I'll tell you; it humbles a man." That conclusion followed a succession of events, beginning when he made many friends among the farm families while doing field work in the DeQueen and Caddo Gap quadrangles in Arkansas. After the report was published, he gave a copy to one of the families who had shown more than passing interest in his work. On a subsequent visit, Miser discovered in the outhouse that his report had been partly used up. As he explained, 'they had finished the section on stratigraphy and had started on the structural geology.' With equal humility, we hope the present volume will prove at least as useful to future generations of geologists."

It's good to know mine is not the only research paper destined for such a fate.

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