Posted by: Kay at Suicyte | March 23, 2009

The perils of having foreign co-authors… (just kidding)

Here is what communication problems can do for you:

This morning, I had a phone conversation with a scientist abroad, talking about a joint paper project. At the end, we agreed on who was going to write which part of the manuscript. My colleague, let’s call him Peter, said something along the lines of “I will write the introduction and will create figure 1, and you should do figures 2 and 3”. I wasn’t too enthusiastic because figure 2 looked like a lot of work, but I agreed.

Only after spending several hours on this blasted figure 2, and another phone call, it turned out that Peter had not said “and you should do figures 2 and 3″, but rather “and Yu should do figures 2 and 3″.

Now we have two versions of figure 2, one by me and one by Yu.




  1. Could be worse. I saw a heated argument between two microscopists — one Polish, one Japanese — in which one was saying “X,” and the other, “eggs.”

    The source of confusion was clear to everyone in the audience, but we werel laughing too hard to stop them.

  2. In Italy we’re used to say:
    “Better more than nothing!” 😉

  3. Okay that was funny, lets pick the better one then lol, probably yours. Anna 🙂

  4. Hmmm..could you please tell me in detail..i didnt get it fully..

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