A comment at Prof-like Substance caught my eye.

You called yourself a PI? What’s with all these biomedical people referring to a professor as a PI? In some fields a professor is a professor. An academic title is more dignified than an administrative acronym.

I have a simple poll. Please select the equation that best summarizes your view of the relative status of the honorifics of “Professor”, “Doctor” and “PI”. For this purpose assume we’re using the generic Professor to refer to all professorial ranks, not the specific for “Full Professor”. PI, as you are answering the poll, means whatever you think it means.

Academic Honorific Equationscustomer surveys

In the comments you might as well expand on the rationale here.

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With grant success rates dipping ever below 10% in the NIH and somewhere south of gawdawful in NSF programs people are understandably nervous.


BikeMonkey Guest Post
We all know about the struggles young and even not-so-young women professors go through to gain the respect of their students and peers. A youthful appearance can in some cases be a bit of a handicap. Men are not immune as has been described by Prof-like Substance.

I was asked to give a 5 minute dog and pony show research explanation to a political candidate for some district somethingorother. She brought along a contingent of people, including two interns who appeared to think their job of making sure the schedule was adhered to was a life or death posting, and toured the lab. I talked about what we do, including how our science is both good for the state from a job and application perspective. She took this all in as I described the cool equipment we use and how state infrastructure is blah blah blah. A few questions were asked, suggesting the candidate had at least listened. And then… “So, are you a student here?”

Well, some of Prof-like’s peers have been adopting a little protective camouflage to fit in.

Young assistant professors in Ivy League towns have stormed the salons with an interesting request: to add a little gray to their perfectly-colored heads of hair.
P. Nus-Whimple of the Crimson Locks, a men’s salon and spa in Cambridge, MA explained that grayness adds gravitas.
“We’ve had that request quite a bit,” Nus-Whimple said. “Assistant professors are under tenure stress and need be taken more seriously in their field. At a conference they look around the audience at all the gray manes and wonder how they are being perceived. Twenty years ago, only 2 percent of our business was hair colour, now it’s 22-23 per cent. And of the colouring we do, 80 percent is gray blending.”

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I have a good one for you, DearReader, in the event you haven’t seen it yet. Actually, Academic Jungle, penned by GeekMommyProf has been on the blogroll since about the third or fourth post. Still, I’ve been burned once before when a blogger disappeared after a strong start. so I was waiting for a little more of a track record. Anyway, Academic Jungle has just passed a month and looks to be continuing on strongly.
The author describes herself as:

Tenured female prof at a large public research university, in one of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. Blogs on navigating the early years as an independent academic.

A taster after the jump:

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