Talk:Principal investigator

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Notable list[edit]

The list of notable PIs are all based on astronomy projects, which probably reflects the area of expertise of the original author. I don't know enough to add to this list, but maybe people that come across this page that have expertise in different fields could add to the list to flesh it out a bit. For example what about notable PIs on projects such as the LHC, human genome project etc.

There are so many different PIs on so many different projects that I don't believe it's valuable to list people. You will get hundreds to thousands if you include NIH, NSF, DoE, etc. SeanAhern (talk) 17:37, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree, the list of notable PIs should go. What is a notable PI any way? Any notable scientist has been PI at some point in their career, and probably is PI of many projects at any one time. A list of PIs of notable projects might make sense, but how do you select which projects are notable? And how would that benefit this article? crisluengo (talk) 12:39, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

I deleted the list of notable PIs since the notion was ridiculous (might as well provide a link to Nobel Prize winners, National Academy of Sciences members, as well as HHMI members). I see that people have mentioned deleting this for over a year with no dissent, so I went ahead and did it. (talk) 20:45, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

I have removed the list (again, it seems). I concur with the points above - a list on something as generic as PI is silly, and the word 'notable' can be a loaded quality in a wikipedia context. I don't know why the list reappeared, but there is no counterpoints raised here so it should just be quashed. SFC9394 (talk) 20:05, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
Because not a single one of you bothered to look through the very short article history to find the originator of the section — [1] — and ask the author to chime in. And when blanked the section, he/she did not provide any explanation what-so-ever in the summary line like you are supposed to do. And when the author stumbled back upon the page and found the list deleted with no summary, he restored it. That is why there was no dissent. That is why it magically reappeared. That is why the history exists and I suggest you folks use it next time. Also, please use section headings on talk pages.
Now to answer your questions. A list of people gives the article reader an idea of who/what a PI does. Someone not in research likely has no idea what a PI is, what a PI does, or what a PI is responsible for. So having a list of people to explore is a way to help a reader better understand — through context and examples — what a PI is and does. Perhaps a section name change is merited with description, but that's an ancillary detail that does not warrant outright deletion. My working definition of who to include is if the PI and the project have a wikipedia page: if they are on wikipedia then they are notable (through all the other definitions of what notable is). That does not automatically include every Nobel winner because not every Nobel winner's project(s) (not the topic, but the specific project) has a Wikipedia page, but if they do then they certainly belong on the list. It's absurd to have to make a special definition for this particular case when WP already has a plethora of administrivia that answers your questions. (And, no, I am not an astronomer but astronomy projects typically have pages and they are clear examples that people can learn from.) With all that said, and considering the slow rate of conversation on this talk page, I will restore it in the interest of the reader. Cburnett (talk) 02:03, 8 October 2011 (UTC)


Nailing down the origin of this term is proving surprisingly difficult. It's easy enough to get multiple current definitions in various institutional settings, but how the role, and this term for it, emerged seems obscure. If someone can clear that up, it would be a real service. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:22, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Notable PI list.[edit]

This needs to be removed as there is no point in keeping it. I would like to remove it straight away! Abhijeet Safai (talk) 09:36, 15 October 2012 (UTC)