Letter to the Editor

Research is a team sport

I was pleased to see the Feb. 9 news article “Simulating blindness may boost hearing,” which described elegant and important scientific work carried out by investigators at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland. The first author of the study, published in the prestigious journal Neuron, is my former student Emily Petrus. It was appropriate that the article named the senior authors of the study because they conceived it, obtained funding to carry it out and closely supervised the work. But an opportunity to illustrate an important aspect of scientific research was missed.

Scientific research is a team sport. Studies like this would not be possible without hardworking postdoctoral fellows or graduate students such as Petrus. To partially compensate for financial and personal sacrifices, these trainees look forward to the attention and help in their careers that comes from publication in high-profile journals.

This particular advance was picked up by The Post, in part, because of efforts by PR teams at the universities intended to bring attention, and ultimately benefit in the form of continued support, to their universities and senior researchers. The rest of the research team also deserved a “Post Bump.”

Ted Usdin, Bethesda

 
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