I am hosting a podcast related to our field where we invite the stars of our field, the podcast has grabbed an audience from different demographic regions and it becomes very well know in the community. Before that, my ex-supervisor who is in the field and somehow is well known in the field was trying to destroy my career, it was a long story and s(he) was abusive. Now, no one knows about that, I feel sometimes it may sound unethical as I somehow invited everyone the field except him/her. The podcast also got an award from the events organized by the leaders of the field. I don't know how to be neutral, should I invite him/her at some point? because it becomes blatant I am trying to avoid inviting him/her, I know s(he) destroyed me literally, but now we have an audience and at least I have to be inclusive, do you think I have to invite him/her?

  • Are they very good and worth listening to? [independently of your personal problems] – Captain Emacs Apr 17 at 22:34
  • @CaptainEmacs, you mean the podcast episodes? – Erik Apr 17 at 23:14
  • Your ex-supervisor's talks. – Captain Emacs Apr 17 at 23:34
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    @AnonymousPhysicist, who said that academia doesnot care about podcast, it is a public service and even the academician I am interviewing think it is a good to connect the fieldandexposing ideas , I am sorry, but indeed maybe you are an old school.The reality is scicommunication/podcast is much more interesting t] than nonproducible papers, I dont underestimate the value of papers/books, but I think technical podcast IMHO helped me and others toknow more ideas and think as each guest was inspiring. – Erik Apr 18 at 7:58
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    Invite him/her to record an episode and do so. Afterwards, inform him/her that unfortunately, there was a technical problem with the recording and you will not be able to publish the episode. – lighthouse keeper Apr 18 at 9:28

I suggest to forget the fact that they are "toxic" on the emotional level, that's between you and them.

You say they are not that inspiring. As organiser of your podcasts, if you consistently invite good speakers, you do not need to invite mediocre ones; and that includes your ex-supervisor.

On the other hand, if you do invite speakers across the board in terms of speaking quality, there is one more thing for you to probe.

You should contemplate whether this ex-supervisor could harm your career if you invite them. For instance, by entering back into your life, by getting influence over you again or by trying to usurp your podcast platform (I have no idea whether this is a possible scenario, but just for you to get the idea what I mean). If that is the case, nobody can expect from you to sacrifice your career just to be magnanimous.

If that is not the case either, it ends up being your decision and you have to absorb the moral dilemma that emerges from it of it. It is a difficult one to make, since you can not just declare "conflict-of-interest" like a reviewer and know that the paper will still be fairly handled by someone else. However, in the end of the day, it is, as CJL says, your podcast.

It would be magnanimous to host them; but do not do this if there is any danger to your career by doing that. And, if you end up inviting that person, keep your interaction with them highly professional, but as distant as you can. You're the boss in this part of town.

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  • Answer's too ambiguous to be useful. – Anonymous Physicist Apr 18 at 7:01
  • @AnonymousPhysicist It's an algorithm. He explains that he felt it's unethical, and I explain under which circumstances it is not. Saying "it's fine not to invite him" is not really true. I do not see how you can expect an entirely unambiguous response in an ethical dilemma. That's the nature of the problem. Sometimes, life requires subtle responses. – Captain Emacs Apr 18 at 11:41

Using your position as an organizer to not invite the people you don't like to your thing is the only real reason anyone in academia ever organizes anything. They might retaliate but it doesn't really sound like your relationship is worth anything anyway. Just make sure not to actually say what you're doing, if anyone asks you about it just make up a generic excuse about scheduling.

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    -1. Your first sentence strikes me as an unfair generalization. Further, "do something and then lie about it" is rarely an ethical position; I don't think you've justified why it would be appropriate here. – cag51 Apr 17 at 21:52
  • What's that supposed to mean? I got the part about lying about the reasons. But is it "Invite or not"? – Captain Emacs Apr 17 at 22:36
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    It's very clearly "do whatever you want if you're the one organizing". – user120011 Apr 17 at 23:18
  • @CJR Not "very clearly", at least to me, especially with this double-speak and crossed-out statements, but thanks for clarifying now. – Captain Emacs Apr 18 at 3:24
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    "Using your position...to not invite the people...is the only real reason..." - no. There may be some people for whom this is the case, but many people know that if they do not organise something, nobody will. – Captain Emacs Apr 18 at 3:49

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