Talk:Independent scientist

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Why past tense?[edit]

If there are still gentleman scientists, wouldn't it be correct to use the present tense? Will change the tense. Pgr94 (talk) 19:30, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Alphabetical or chronological?[edit]

Is there a rule for such lists as the one here for gentleman scientists? Zeyn1 (talk) 19:25, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Darwin explanation in the list[edit]

Removed "'s father helped fund him to be a gentleman scientist in Victorian times." because it was the only one in the list with explanation. Zeyn1 (talk) 13:33, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

gentleman naturalist[edit]

How do you think this term should fit into this page? Change the name? Re-direct? Darwin was one --Charles Jeffrey Danoff 06:49, 25 January 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Charles Jeffrey Danoff (talkcontribs)

Yes, considering the term 'scientist' originated with William Whewell in 1833, any label from a time period that could be reasonably considered "post-renaissance" would have referred to a 'gentleman naturalist' if anything. Although as the article points out, large scale corporate and government funding of academic research wasn't prevalent until the 20th century, so it's likely even that term would have questionable meaning until relatively recently. Nevertheless, Darwin received a substantial government treasury grant and backing from aristocrat patrons to complete the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle, a voyage itself funded grudgingly by his wealthy father. If Darwin is the quintessential self supported, independent gentleman scientist then the concept seems dubious, let alone the phrase. This article needs better sources and substantial work or it should be deleted, right now it just reads like an op-ed about big government's negative influence on science. Unless this term has more substantial use than what's cited, e.g. not pieces far shorter than this article, it probably fails WP:N as well as WP:NOR. AveVeritas (talk) 13:40, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Is this term still used, even for women?[edit]

I was wondering whether non-university female scientists would still be referred to as gentleman scientists. Is this term out of date? Or does anyone know of an equivalent term for women? If so, I would love to see it listed here. SnehaNar (talk) 18:32, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Never heard of this term before finding this page. I think we really need citations (that specifically say 'X is a gentleman scientist') to justify including modern scientists here, lest we commit WP:SYNTHESIS — Preceding unsigned comment added by Marainein (talkcontribs) 01:30, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Einstein, Venter and others not financially independent nor 'hobbyists'[edit]

I think there's some misunderstanding of Einstein's financial independence - he was a lecturer, a docent, and a professor in the German system, and eventually held a position at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. All of these were paid positions, and physics was not a hobby or sideline for Einstein. Similarly for Craig Venter - he was an NIH scientist, then started his own company, and his own institute. In all of these positions he was (and is) beholden to his funding sources, whether it be the government, venture capitalists, stockholders, or his independent funders, to do what he told them he would do with their money. Thus, until he decided to just spend some time on his yacht sequencing DNA from the ocean, he was not a 'gentleman scientist.' [On the contrary, he's been an extremely dedicated, politically bare-knuckled, professional]. Jed (talk) 15:08, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Modern day gentleman scientists[edit]

I agree this is not a Nobel Prize - grade work but this is something that has been done and published in notable, peer-reviewed journals. This history seems suitable for me as an example of some smaller scale gentleman research that still occurs today. I see no reason to remove this history and return it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:39, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

The work may be notable but the scientists, which is the subject of this article, are not. pgr94 (talk) 20:37, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Not the scientists but the situation and some facts about scientific community are important (the researcher names are now removed). It is however difficult to remove also references as the claim stays unverified. I think the article must say that not all gentleman scientists, notable or not, are company owners and Nobel prize winners. Scientific systems in some countries (German, Switzerland) are tuned so that after ten years or about if you are not a professor you must go away, the number of permanent positions is small. These people who must go away have best skills and competence over all they scientific carrier, they preserve contacts, still have access to unpublished data and may even still have access to the laboratory. Should it be very strange that they finish the last article properly even after funding runs out? Come and perform the last experiment asked by the reviewer of the prestige journal? I also know more examples with Nature publications at the end. These are about plant senescense. However the author does not state on the web the details of contribution I know so I do not want to disclose that may be confidential. Audriusa (talk) 05:59, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
There is no independent published evidence that one of the authors of the study in question is in fact a self-funded gentleman scientist, the claim is therefore original research and not permissible (see WP:OR). Even if there were such evidence, the study itself also seems to lack notability. I agree that hundreds of papers are at least in part self-funded, and that scientists 'between jobs' could (and probably should) be regarded as gentleman (gentlefolk?) scientists, but unless you can back up those statements with an independent reference, they have no place here. This is not the right forum to advance your personal opinions. Cheers! Rainbowwrasse (talk) 12:25, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
The work that has been described in Nature by independent highlight article (completely different authors) should be notable and that is published in peer reviewed press is no longer original research. Please watch your words yourself, by the way. Audriusa (talk) 13:51, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I am not claiming that the study itself is original research; it's published. However there is no (as far as I am aware) evidence that anyone involved was a gentleman scientist, and already on those grounds it is not a suitable example in this article. I'm not rubbishing the studies, by the way, I'm just saying it's not notable. Simply having been mentioned in Nature does not change that. Even studies published in Nature are for the most part not notable in the sense implied here. A literature search for the topic only returns the original article, which has been cited 13 times since 2004. It may be good work, but it's not notable in an encyclopaedic sense. For further details please refer to the notability guidelines. Also, please clarify in what way you would like me to 'watch my words' so that I may avoid causing further offense in the future... Rainbowwrasse (talk) 15:11, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Let's at least have the things separately. I will not rollback your next edit if you write something that "there is no published confirmation that the author has not been officially employed" while I cannot imagine in which kind of source such information could ever appear. However you are pressing on that the research work itself is not notable forcing me to defend the project. On Wikipedia rules you ask me to read it is written that academic and peer-reviewed publications are usually the most reliable sources, and there are multiple in our case Audriusa (talk) 15:48, 9 August 2011 (UTC).
If there is no published confirmation of a statement, it is simply not suitable for inclusion in a WP article. Whether or not such information is likely to ever be published or not is irrelevant, as the information is not verifiable in the absence of a source. It is an encyclopedia. Also, you appear to have confuse reliability (WP:RS) and notability (WP:N). Academic and peer-reviewed publications are usually the most reliable sources, but just because something is reliably documented does not mean that it is notable. Again, I am not saying that the study is not worthwhile, just that it isn't particularly notable. Please explain why you think that this study should be included in an article on gentleman scientists even though there is no indication that anyone involved could be described as such. Rainbowwrasse (talk) 16:13, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I disagree with your talks about the notability but forced to recognize I have no published evidence that the author worked without paid position at time. Unfortunately being busy with my direct work I have no time here for flaming. Let's close this discussion. No more edits will be made from my side Audriusa (talk) 18:07, 9 August 2011 (UTC).

Craig Venter[edit]

Craig Venter is the "Founder, Chairman, and President" of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) . The JCVI receives funding from the NIH, the Department of Energy, and various other private sources. One *cannot* describe him as a 'self-funded' researcher who does research as a hobby. He is a fully professional, very successful, researcher. Jed (talk) 14:24, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Incorrect plural?[edit]

I'm hesitant to change it when it's even the name of a Wikipedia category, but it seems to me (by searching Google Books etc.) that the plural is usually gentlemen scientists. (talk) 18:01, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Possible wrong statement in the article[edit]

I would like to draw your attention that the sentence

"However, peer review of findings is sidestepped. [2]"

may be incorrect. The stated reference only mentions peer review once, and it says it in the following paragraph:

"Some wealthy researchers, like the California chemist, shy away from publicity because they do not want to advertise that they have fat bank accounts. Still others do not want to remind their universities that they are not bringing in the precious dollars for overhead that come with grants. And the freedom bought with self-funding carries a hidden price: It bypasses the critical peer review of ideas that is built into the traditional granting process."

It seems to me that what the paragraph says that because they are self funded, they don't have anyone to check whether the direction, or ideas, they are taking are valid or relevant. The peer review process of findings is still taken into account if you want to publish, and I think the reference is not arguing about that.Jorgecarleitao (talk) 13:09, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

The paragraph clearly states "peer review of findings is sidestepped", not micro-managing research preemptively. Indeed, if the article mentioned the actual commonly used phrase Publish or perish, and referred to sourced material about individuals who managed to avoid those academic/financial pressures and calmly publish their peer reviewed findings when they were ready instead, the term 'gentleman scientist' might seem less dubious. AveVeritas (talk) 14:05, 19 February 2014 (UTC)