GenBank Errors

L.A. Moran lamoran at gpu.utcs.utoronto.ca
Sun Oct 20 13:56:25 EST 1991



In a recent posting Roy Smith (roy at alanine.phri.nyu.edu) flamed Tom Schneider
for his earlier comments on the accuracy of GenBank. Roy said,

     "My suggestion to anybody who really and truely thinks they can do a
      better job of running GenBank than the people who are doing it now 
      is to bid on the contract the next time it is up for renewal. In the
      meantime, it would be a shame to see bionet degenerate into the same
      petty squabbling that seems to pervade most of the rest of Usenet."

Several members of the staff at GenBank have also overreacted to Tom's
comments and one even suggested that they were libellous!

I have enjoyed the recent exchange and I hope the discussion of errors in
GenBank continues. In my opinion many of the regular respondents to this
newsgroup are overly sensitive to criticism and strongly held opinions.
The Bionet groups are deadly boring compared to the rest of Usenet and there
are many other newsgroups that are much more informative because the readers
do not stiffle dissent the way they try to do here. Considering all of the
important and controversial issues that are being debated in the biological
community I think that we should be ashamed that they are not covered on
Bionet but are common in sci.bio, talk.origins and several other groups.

It is a constant souce of amazement to me that so many readers of Bionet
want to avoid any semblance of controversy or serious difference of opinion.
They are particularly upset when two individuals express opposing views and
begin to debate an issue. Isn't that what science is all about? Why do the
self-appointed Bionet thought police feel that it is so necessary to stiffle
such exchanges?

If some of the lurkers want to resign because they can't stand to see a bit
passion then I say good riddance! 

Laurence A. Moran (Larry)
Dept. of Biochemistry
University of Toronto



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