Field of Science

What does a professor do all day?

Readers of this blog will remember Dick Morris's strange claim that professors don't do anything except teach -- it's not even clear he thinks they have to prepare for class or grade papers. This raised a considerable backlash on the Web, in which many pointed out that teaching is, for many professors, only one pursuit (and often not the main one).

Around the same time, but apparently independently, a professor of psycholinguistics, Gerry Altmann, listed how he had been spending his time. In the space of 2.5 weeks, sent out 18 manuscripts for review (he's a journal editor), wrote 51 action letters (telling authors what decisions had been made), reviewed 7 NIH grants (interesting, since he works in the UK), and visited collaborators in Philly to discuss a new project (presumably part -- but not all -- of the 3677 miles he reports having flown).

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