Selling Research

Weekly I/O#14

Researcher should spend the same time on selling their work as doing their research.

Book: The Art of Doing Science and Engineering

"Selling" is an awkward thing to do for a scientist. It's ugly and scientists shouldn't have to do it.

The world is supposed to be waiting. When we do something great, they should rush out and welcome it. Nevertheless, the fact is everyone is busy with their own work. We must present it so well that they will set aside what they are doing, look at what we’ve done, read it, come back and say, "Yes, that was good.''

Richard Hamming suggested that when we open a journal, ask ourselves that why we read some articles and not others. Also, there are three things we have to do in selling: learn to write clearly and well so that people will read it, learn to give reasonably formal talks, and learn to give informal talks.

In the Q&A when an audience asked him about his time allocation, he answered that "I believed, in my early days, that you should spend at least as much time in the polish and presentation as you did in the original research. Now at least 50% of the time must go for the presentation. It's a big, big number."

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