Monday, February 22, 2010


I certainly could be "Czecho-centric", but it seems like there is an unusually large number of people studying polymers who are of Czech origin or a descendent. With a last name of Spevacek, I certainly fit the bill, but I am not alone. Back in grad school I discovered while browsing the literature (back then, browsing the literature was a physical activity involving many musty volumes of bound journals) that there was in fact a "J. Spevacek" who has authored numerous articles on polymer science, mostly involving NMR analysis. This individual is Jiri, not John, and is not known to be a relative of mine. (Spevacek is actually not that uncommon of a name - there are at least three other "John"s that I know about in the US. The name is the word for a singer or cantor - obviously a trait that is not inherited!)

Jiri works for the Czech Academy of Sciences and a search through Google Scholar finds over 140 hits. One year while at a former employment situation, I found all the publications that "J. Spevacek" had published that year and attempted to convince my supervisor that I should have gotten a promotion because of all my hard work. That didn't get too far.