Thanks in large part to the influence of NCEAS, more and more ecologists are involved in collaborative research networks these days. Via email, Jason Fridley asks: are these networks making us too nice to each other? You’ll naturally be reluctant to tell your collaborators they’re full of it, and not just on the subject of your collaboration. And if collaboration is your normal way of working, do you have a tendency to refrain from criticizing anyone because anyone is a potential collaborator, or just because criticizing others is so rare it starts to look rude?
What do you think?
p.s. Hey, everybody: Jason’s basically just invited you to criticize him! 😉
p.p.s. There are analogies here to major transitions in evolution, in particular the transition from single-celled organisms (=individual investigators) to multicellular organisms (=collaborative research networks), but I haven’t yet had any caffeine so I can’t pursue the analogy further.