Grad students and political skills (and, many other things besides)!

From this piece in Washington Post (link via John Hawks, who recommended it strongly):

Born in Utah in 1931, he grew up collecting animal skeletons, and as a lowly undergrad he published a scholarly paper on the subtle differences between the bones of dogs and coyotes. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Berkeley but dropped out of the doctoral program after some kind of beef with a professor.

“He was always in trouble with his professors, because he was so smart and he challenged them,” Archambault recalls. “As a grad student, you have to be politic, and that wasn’t one of Grover’s skills.”

Of course, it was not just for grad students:

Living in the Pacific Northwest, Krantz heard lots of stories about the apelike “Bigfoot” creatures rumored to reside in remote forests. Curious, he chased down the rumors, interviewing alleged witnesses, analyzing photos, making plaster casts of footprints supposedly left by Bigfoot.

Slowly he came to believe that Sasquatch might exist, and he said so in several books. Naturally, that attracted a lot of publicity, which did not help his academic career.

“He was slow to advance to full professor, because they thought he was embarrassing the university with the Sasquatch thing,” says Tyler. “Grover was extremely stubborn. He could have played it better politically. But that wasn’t him. If he believed he was right, he did what he wanted.”

And then, there is a nice one about first couple:

Hunt believes in the power of bones as educational tools. In fact, he has already arranged to donate his skeleton to the museum’s collection. Several other Smithsonian scientists, including Burgess and Stanford, are also considering donating their bones.

Diane Horton, Grover’s widow, may do that, too. “I probably will, but I haven’t done the paperwork,” she says. “I’m either going to get cremated or I’ll join him there.”

Then, remembering the dogs, she corrects herself. “Join them .”

She likes the idea that somebody could learn something from her bones. But there’s another reason, too.

“Dave Hunt says that if I went there,” she says, “Grover and I could be the first couple.”

Take a look!


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