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Fish that walk on seafloor use same neurons and genes as land vertebrates (nytimes.com)
101 points by dnetesn on Feb 14, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments

NYT only mentions the professor and not the first authors which got me annoyed. If you love the science and work so much, might as well include the names of the first authors right? Disclaimer: one first author is a friend.

To be completely fair, in this case the senior author is designated as the author for correspondence, so I'm not surprised that the Times only contacted the senior author. The author contribution statement also suggests that the co-lead authors and the senior author performed the bulk of the work, so it's not just the case of the PI attaching his name to the paper and clicking submit.

But I agree that journalists in particular and everyone else in general need to do a better job of highlighting lead authors in addition to or instead of senior authors since they are usually at an earlier career stage that would benefit from the publicity.

At least they have an actual link to the paper, that's a big step ahead of most popular science reporting.

> might as well include the names of the first authors right?

As a reader, I disagree. If I care about the work enough to care about that, I can find the paper.

I think this is to the point. The senior names will help propagate the news. Due recognition will follow; those who have influence will look further than the NYT.

Different authors have different perspectives. Contact several and write a richer article with the whole picture. Or like, a conference call?

My personal experience [0] was that you (or your new boss at your new job) receive an annoying number of calls within a short period of time. I'm glad my advisor took all of the calls because, at least at the time, I was stressed out and wouldn't have given useful quotes for an article, if I had picked up.

But I would have been bothered if I had taken the time to provide some quotes and none were included in the published article. Regardless, your friend can probably put "media mentions" or something like that on their resume.

[0] Had NYT, BBC, etc. articles written about a paper

Suspect there is similar conservation across vertebrates that fly and early development of "wings" to out-swim predators.

Flying fishes - Exocoetidae


It's not clear to me whether these neurons and genes are present in all fish, and were co-opted for walking by both those walking fish and the land vertebrae. Or whether land vertebrae are actually closer related to those walking fish than to other fish.

And once again evolution is not disproven.

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