The title that kills

Oct 27 2010 Published by under [Education&Careers], [Et Al]

There has to be a term for the phenomenon whereby shortly after sending in a title for a talk that is months away, all progress on that research in the lab grinds to a halt so that you have to awkwardly explain to your audience why you are presenting very preliminary data on the topic they came to see, but a bunch of related data from a different system.

Titleus hexus?

Data anchor?

Title noose?

I'm sure you can think of more creative terms. I have to finish my talk.

11 responses so far

  • Yoshimi says:

    Whatever it's called I fear it, which explains several emails requesting titles and abstracts for distant talks sitting unanswered in my inbox.

  • Heavy says:

    You need vaguer titles then. Like "On Evolution"

  • proflikesubstance says:

    I think only E. O. Wilson can get away with a title that grandiose, but yes, backing out a bit on the title helps to a point.

  • Yoshimi says:

    Agreed. But it's always so tempting to try for something more exciting.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    It's a fine line between getting people in the door and out-kicking your coverage.

    /gratuitous football simile

  • scicurious says:

    Cursus Titleium!

    Titelus Datum Moribundinus!

  • I managed to turn this phenomenon to advantage in this talk. I turned in a title most of a year in advance, then promptly forgot about the talk until shortly before time, THEN panicked because that wasn't really what I wanted to talk about AT ALL.

    So I deconstructed the title, right on stage. It was great.

  • Jim Thomerson says:

    I once had an argument with a major player. He told me it will all be explained at the talk to be given by his student at the next meeting. His student got up, apologized, and gave a talk on another subject. I never followed up on it, but think I must have been right in the argument (whatever it was about).

  • Pharm Sci Grad says:

    Perhaps, the phenomenon formerly known as poster abstract fail.

    Seems every time I submit an abstract for a meeting months away *assuming* I can complete the ONE month's worth of work required to wrap it up... Research. Progress. Fail.

    So glad to know there's another version of this in my TT future...

  • theshortearedowl says:

    Schrodinger's Abstract.

    As soon as you send it off for the conference, the field collapses and all other areas of research instantly become more productive.

  • canyou guide on how to best find someone to write an NSF grant due dec 9? We have preliminary done and encouraged - need some help with full proposal!!

Leave a Reply