Let's promote good research: Share it in accessible and engaging ways. Put it in context and help your colleagues appreciate it. The more we can put substance ahead of hype, the more science and our colleagues benefit from our highlights.
Accessible single-cell proteomics
This aim for a “model T” single-cell proteomics has been our guiding philosophy in the development of methods for single-cell proteomics.
Magnanimity pays off
Francis Crick exceeded the brilliance of his double helix model by this magnanimous act:
Premature human engineering
The news buzz alive with excitement about human genome editing, even human germline engineering. Successful germline engineering requires (1) a technology for editing DNA safely and (2) knowledge of what to edit and how to edit based on understanding the underlying biology. We are approaching (1), which is the easier part; we do not have (2), … Continue reading Premature human engineering
You want to estimate an important quantity. You compute an exact number purporting to estimate it. You compute another exact number purporting to estimate it. The two numbers differ significantly. The only logical conclusion is that these estimates are less exact than they seem. This clearly seems to be the case with the notion of … Continue reading Deceptive Numbers
Increasingly direct evidence
The results in our Cell report are particularly satisfying to me since they bring clarity to a puzzle that I have pursued for almost a decade. The puzzle started with an observation that I made while a graduate student in the Botstein laboratory at Princeton University. I studied the transcriptional responses of yeast cells growing … Continue reading Increasingly direct evidence
Science and failures of authority
One of the key milestones in the emergence of the scientific method was placing empirical evidence above authority. This shift is beautifully articulated by both William Harvey and Nicolaus Copernicus. Both of them tactfully and forcefully defended their choice to side with the empirical results even when they contradicted the most venerable authorities in their … Continue reading Science and failures of authority
Which publications are citable?
The number of references to a scientific publication is frequently used as an objective measure for the significance of the publication. This metric is far less precise than it may appear and in the short/medium-term it certainly fails to capture the most visionary and creative research. Consider, for example, that the publications of Richard Feynman … Continue reading Which publications are citable?
I have heard many biomedical researchers express the opinion: "In biology, ideas are cheap. It is the doing that matters." I do not share this opinion. However, I would like to understand it, particularly since it seems quite prevalent and shared by prominent professors and institutional directors. One aspect contributing to this thinking is perhaps … Continue reading Ideas
Evolving scientific culture
Scientific research depends crucially on the scientific culture. Unhealthy culture cannot support healthy research.