Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Nutters I have known #3: The Greek 'researcher'

Soula was very keen on her research. She was researching her own island (aren't we all) during Ottoman times, but nobody knew exactly what. You see, Soula thought that what she was doing was so important and significant , importantly significant and significantly important that somebody might steal it from her. Therefore, she never told anyone apart from her PhD supervisor what her research was about. Which was a bit extreme.

You see, unless you're researching the cure for cancer or a revolutionary PC software/hardware which will change the face of the planet, nobody cares. Especially if you're researching a small Greek island (not Cyprus btw). Anyway. Soula was so obsessed with secrecy, that when we had student conferences where we presented our work, she wrote a paper on something irrelevant in order to avoid revealing her real topic. On top of that, she confused research with collecting material. She'd go to archives and photocopy everything, accumulating piles and piles of photocopies of documents whose only value was that they could one day prove useful. They didn't. Her supervisor told her to stop it and concentrate on finishing her thesis.

When she finished her thesis, passed her viva and submitted it, she made it inaccessible to anyone for 7 years. Because although there was a date on it and it was printed and bound, someone might still try to steal the supreme knowledge included in her thesis. As a result, by the time her thesis was available to readers, nobody was interested any more. She went back home, found a job in local government and that was that. The world could not benefit from her cutting-edge work. Shame ;-)

The Nutters Series