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Title: John Grant and the Multifaceted Nature of True Professionalism

Consideration of the elements that contribute to professional and scientific impact is relevant in a volume honoring John Grant for two reasons. First, John has contributed in many ways to both advancing the methodology and the practical application of surface-analytical tools to understanding surfaces and interfaces of technological importance. The second reason is a little more complex. In an era when there is an effort to quantify contributions in various ways (e.g., citations, H-index, number of publications) and when social media seems, at least anecdotally, to lead a younger generation of scientists to be less involved in traditional professional activities, it is appropriate to examine the nature of the activities that make a lasting contribution to the advancement of science and technology and the professional community that makes progress possible. The multifaceted nature of John’s professional activities provides an appropriate background for exploring the nature of professionalism. With no reservations one can say that the foundation of professionalism is rooted in a scientist’s expertise in some area of research or practice. This expertise might be measured in numerous ways depending upon the field and could include numbers of publications, citations, patents, problems solved, research support obtained, or students produced. Thesemore » “products” may or may not be readily visible to the community at large. Chuck Wagner – a pioneer in XPS, developer of an empirical set of XPS sensitivity factors and the modified Auger-parameter plot, and winner of the AVS Nerken Award in 1989 – observed that he could not publish or talk about 90% of the work he had done when working for Shell Oil. However, based on XPS capability developments that he could publish, he had a major impact on the development and application of XPS. To some degree John Grant’s research fits this model as well. Much of his early work at the Air Force Materials Research Laboratory was directed at solving materials problems and this important and often ground-breaking work was not published. However, a great deal of creativity and development was required to enable surface-sensitive tools such as AES and XPS to become useful for solving critical problems, and this work could be published.« less
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
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Journal Name: Surface and Interface Analysis, 48(5):249-251
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States