P. Aarne Vesilind's Commentary on "The Communism of Science"

Commentary On

There is no doubt that Dr. Well's actions are inappropriate and potentially damaging to both Mary and Michael, as well as the health of the entire laboratory. Some may admire what Dr. Well is doing -- using his clout to steal Michael's work and give it to Mary. Robin Hood may have been admired by some, but he was still an outlaw.

More important are the actions of Michael and Mary. Given the obvious age of both of these people (six years in the lab), I would presume some level of maturity. They should, as a team, speak to Dr. Well and explain to him that his plans are not acceptable to either of them. If Dr. Well is as caring as he is made out to be, he will understand his mistake and apologize.

One last comment: It is interesting that Dr. Well is concerned with the welfare of a female graduate student and is about to cause damage to the prospects of a male graduate student by helping the female. One way to think through this problem is to reverse the roles. Would Dr. Well (or some other laboratory director) be more or less likely to help Mary if she were male, and if Michael were female? I think gross sexism is implied in the entire scenario.