Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's hard getting critiqued!

Take the Bulletin survey at

It’s often difficult to give an honest opinion. Sometimes it’s even harder to take one. When I was a senior grad student, a good friend once shared with me a personal essay he had written on how he developed a passion for chemistry. He asked me to give my honest critique. I felt privileged to be given a chance to read something personal. I found a quiet place to sit down and carefully read what I had been given. Much like you might expect from a piece written by an accomplished young chemist, the essay was methodical and precise. I saw words on a page that had structure and correct grammar, but for me personally, the passion and drive I was hoping to read about was lacking.

I called him up, anxious to discuss with him how he could improve it. I had made many points along the margins. I had ideas on how he could sharpen his focus, get to the heart of the matter, touch his audience etc. I thought he would be thrilled to hear these things from me. I had, after all, taken the time out of my busy day to focus on his personal piece. Wrong! My responses, both positive and negative were met with a cold rejection. He had no intention of editing it, he didn’t care to expose any further passion, it was his truth, who was I to challenge any part of it? We’re all like that at times.When we've worked hard on something, when I have a connection to something, it’s tough to admit that others might be able to help improve it.
 This month, we asked you (i.e., graduate students and postdocs, administrators etc.) to give your honest opinion on how the ACS Graduate & Postdoctoral Scholars Bulletin might be improved (see – opened until June 4). Because we are passionate about our work – providing and promoting resources, articles, career advice, funding sources, professional development, and networking opportunities etc. to you, the graduate and postdoctoral scholars (GPS) community, it isn’t always easy to take critique and feedback. However, your feedback is essential to helping us reach you more effectively. For this reason, I promise that we will personally digest each comment and response you leave, and that we will seriously consider your feedback as we move forward. If you happen to see this post past the June 4th survey deadline and you have an idea or advice to contribute regarding the Bulletin, please contact us at
Hope to hear from you!

~Corrie Y. Kuniyoshi,

Graduate & Postdoctoral Scholars Bulletin Editor 
Senior Education Associate
ACS Graduate & Postdoctoral Scholars Office

No comments: