professionalism

 

The ENCODE Controversy And Professionalism In Science

Posted 24 February 2013 by Jalees Rehman

The ENCODE (Encyclopedia Of DNA Elements) project received quite a bit of attention when its results were publicized last year. This project involved a very large consortium of scientists with the goal to identify all the functional elements in the human genome. In September 2012, 30 papers were published in a coordinated release and their extraordinary claim was that roughly 80% of the human genome was "functional". This was in direct contrast to the prevailing view among molecular biologists that the... Read more

Internet Curator Maria Popova Responds To Unfair Accusations With Civility

Posted 17 February 2013 by Jalees Rehman

Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings blog is one of my favorite websites. Anyone who loves science, humanities, music and art can figure out why, by simply spending a few minutes browsing her site. One can find inspiring book recommendations, beautiful images and wonderful anecdotes about life-changing creative moments – all in one website. Maria Popova is one of the internet’s best curators of creative thought and I have bought a number of books after reading her descriptions and so far, I... Read more

Armchair Psychiatry and Violence

Posted 26 December 2012 by Jalees Rehman

Following tragic mass shootings such as the one that unfolded in Newtown, Connecticut, it is natural to try to “make sense” of the events. The process of “making sense” and understanding the underlying causes is part of the healing process. It also gives hope to society that if we were able to address the causes of the tragedy, we could prevent future tragedies. It is not unexpected that mental illness is often invoked as a possible reason for mass shootings.... Read more

Science Journalism and the Inner Swine Dog

Posted 5 November 2012 by Jalees Rehman

A search of the PubMed database, which indexes scholarly biomedical articles, reveals that 997,508 articles were published in the year 2011, which amounts to roughly 2,700 articles per day. Since the database does not include all published biomedical research articles, the actual number of published biomedical papers is probably even higher. Most biomedical researchers work in defined research areas, so perhaps only 1% of the published articles may be relevant for their research. As an example, the major focus of... Read more