Recently I was at an academic conference where I met a famous academic in my area during the banquet dinner. However, for some reason I haven't recognised the name and the physical figure of the person (he looks different in the picture that usually comes attached in the "about the authors" section at the end of a paper). If I had, the discussion would've went to other routes as I have many questions about his work.

Now, I would like to write a follow-up email to this person. What would be a way to apologise for not recognising the (asian) name? Would be appropriate to do this? or it's just a waste of time? I may have questions for this person in the future with regards to his work since it is related to my work.

  • 6
    Did the academic seem offended that you didn't recognize him? If no, why bother? Jul 11 '18 at 11:33
  • I wouldn't know, but the message that I want to send to him is that: of course I know who you are and for the past year I read all your papers and I'm up to date with your current work, also I have some possible questions on your work.
    – Andrei
    Jul 11 '18 at 14:04
  • 2
    Your comment makes this a phrasing request which would be off topic on Interpersonal SE. Jul 11 '18 at 14:07
  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this looks like a request for phrasing.
    – sphennings
    Jul 11 '18 at 14:47
  • You might want to ask this on the Academia SE to be honest. In every other industry I've been involved in, no one would care, be offended, or expect you to recognize them from their body of work or LinkedIn profile (etc.)
    – AHamilton
    Jul 11 '18 at 14:48

I wouldn't bother apologizing for not recognizing him if he didn't make it explicitly clear that he had been offended.

Rather, I would kick off the email by reminding him that you met at this banquet, since there's a better than average chance he won't recognize you if he's really that famous.

Ice thusly broken, move on to your actual request / questions and don't worry about it.

  • 3
    it is quite possible he enjoyed NOT talking about his work.
    – WendyG
    Jul 11 '18 at 15:18

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