Software Carpentry

Helping scientists make better software since 1997

A Healthy Dose of Scepticism

Titus Brown’s latest post (which opens with, “The latest hot idea for making a protein-protein interaction database leaves me lukewarm”) should be read by every computer scientist who’s “just trying to help”:

…while tools can be helpeful, the fundamental problem is much more, well, fundamental: science is hard. Connecting the dots is hard. Thinking clearly about the problem and separating the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, is hard. I worry that for the majority of biologists, new tools are going to be more distracting than helpful. We need to build simpler, easier-to-use tools, not more complicated tools; we need to keep our focus on the goal (solving biological problems) and not just on intermediate stages like improving databases and building better prediction tools.

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Written by Greg Wilson

2008/12/24 at 13:16

Posted in Community, Noticed, Opinion

One Response

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  1. Absolutely! You can’t brute-force biology by collecting molecular data indiscriminately and throwing it over to statisticians.

    John

    2008/12/24 at 13:31


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