As we all know well, man does not measure up. But in Academia there is this Pytagorean obsession to reduce anything to a number, So, the prevalence of metrics and the pathetic role of education in this world (we are now at the verge of a nuclear role without true leaders). The funny side of this lazyness of reviewers of metrics is that, some animals are more equal than others. For example, in 1975 a cat co-autored an influential physics paper. The genial idea, showing the absurd of the metric system, come from Jack Hetherington and F.D.C. Willard, and the paper was published in Physical Review Letters. Their paper became influential proposing an inovative view into atomic behavior and has multiple citations.The cat was invited to join the university’s physics department full-time.
Fortunately, intelligent people still pursue their carriers in Academia, and as well their animal colleagues (doing more contributions than regular human co-authors). See here:
Another funny case…«Immunologist Polly Matzinger, now section head at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases,early in her career, she included the name of her Afghan hound, Galadriel Mirkwood, as a coauthor, and the Journal of Experimental Immunology barred Matzinger from its pages for 15 years; “until the editor died,” she says. When the NIH considered Matzinger for tenure, the canine coauthor question reemerged. The directors, she says, could take a joke. “They decided it wasn’t really fraud. It was a real dog [a frequent lab visitor] and they said it had done no less research than some other coauthors had.»
Or another true story: And if a Nobel Prize publish a paper having as co-author his Hamster? No problem. It happened, with Prof. Sir Andre Geim FRS. What is the name of the co-author? Simple. It is H.A.M.S.ter Tisha. (This example shows the meaningless of metrics; According to Geim, the hamster applied to the university of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.) You can download their paper here: