failure, part I

This morning, Eric sent me a copy of a dissertation that he is reviewing as an external committee member. Interesting work on its own, but especially so because he noted that it cited some of my own work. Finally! My scholarship getting the attention it deserves, not to mention an impact on future researchers in science education. I quickly scanned the document’s 147 pages, and even more quickly resolved to use the command-F keystroke and inserted “johnston” into the little bubble. And there I was, three times listed in the bibliography for a sequence of three papers on conceptual change theory. A pivotal part of of this person’s foundational work that would lead them through a lifetime’s worth of scholarship. But to where do these references refer? The literature review? The implications? A thoughtful counter argument and discussion? I expanded my search, and there I was, all three cites confined to a slightly longer than average footnote.*

_____

*Like this one. I once thought that footnotes were good for quick, inside jokes, but now I realize it is the place to which my work is relegated.

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