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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING "FIRST"

Abstract

Most desire to be “the first.” Clearly, in science such a position is critical for achieving recognition, honors, prizes and awards in a given scientific discipline. It also determines who becomes officer in scientific societies, who receives funding for their research projects, who is the desired professor for graduate and undergraduate students to work with, and who gets written about in histories of the field. The concept of “the first” also has broad significance in almost every endeavor participated in by humans and this certainly includes social activities such as politics, the arts, and involvement in historical acts of significance. But, who and how are “the firsts” determined? Also, is “the first always, in fact, “the first”? We will discuss these and related issues with illustrative examples from science, the Civil Rights Movement, politics and history.

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