Goran and our systems wizards will be upgrading Janelia’s network and some of our filesystems over the holiday weekend. We expect web services hosted by our lab will be unavailable at least sporadically from Friday evening ~8pm through Sunday ~4pm. This includes hmmer.org and HMMER RESTful computing services, access to software and publications at our lab home page, and the Janelia mirrors of Rfam and Pfam, etc. You won’t notice, it’s a holiday weekend, you shouldn’t be working anyway, right? We should be back to normal by Sunday evening.
I’ve written parts of HMMER’s code in the shadow of a massive Tyrannosaurus, and this week I’ll get to do it again. I’m on an advisory committee for the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, surely one of the few places you can sit in a cafe amongst dinosaurs. We’re meeting this Thursday and Friday at the museum. Getting a backstage pass to one of the great museums of the world is an awesome perk, but we’ve also got a serious job to do. In an age of iPads and ubiquitous information and entertainment, what should the future of a great natural history museum be?
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Peter Lawrence and Michael Locke wrote an essay that made an enormous impression on me (“A Man for Our Season”, Nature, 1997). For a long time a copy hung on the wall of the lab. I was reminded of it last week when I read a recent interview with Lawrence (“The Heart of Research is Sick”, Lab Times, 2011).
When it’s hard to reach me because I’m busy with my own research work; when I have to decline to travel to give seminars; when postdocs in my lab publish their own independent work without my name on their papers; when our papers go to open-access journals that do a good job of delivering substantive content regardless of that journal’s supposed “impact”; when I spend time on the details of a constructive peer review; when I help HHMI recruit and mentor younger scientists — and indeed when I moved to Janelia Farm, to be part of the idealistic culture that we want to build here — it’s principles much like Peter Lawrence’s that I’m aspiring to.
Real lives and white lies in the funding of scientific research
PLoS Biology, 2009
The mismeasurement of science
Current Biology, 2007
Men, women, and ghosts in science
PLoS Biology, 2006
The politics of publication
Science or alchemy?
Nature Reviews Genetics, 2001
A man for our season
Over at our publications page, I’ve posted a preprint of Elena Rivas’ latest paper on RNA secondary structure prediction, which she submitted for review today.
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