Oh foolish supporters of genome sequencing

Evan W. Steeg steeg at ai.toronto.edu
Tue Feb 12 12:22:18 EST 1991

In article <Feb. at genbank.bio.net> kristoff at genbank.bio.net (David Kristofferson) writes:
>ARGGHHH 8-)!!!!  Perhaps my writing is extremely unclear, but, after a
>couple of attempts at clarification, this "paraphrase" still shows a
>misunderstanding of my position.  I hope others who did not have a
>direct involvement in this exchange understood what I was trying to
>say.  It was never my intention to try and "convert" Dr.  Ellington,
>but only to speak to those scientists who were *already* tired of
>"real science" and let them know that, despite the trauma one can
>experience in deciding to leave research, there are other fulfilling
>career options out there.  Enough said on this topic.
>Dave Kristofferson

Dr. Kristofferson,

 Good stuff!  Keep the asbestos suit on for a while longer, but
there are people out here who understand and appreciate what
you've been trying to say.

  I did my degrees in math and CS and am now finishing my
PhD in CS by working on problems in "computational biology"
(sequence analysis and RNA/protein structure prediction).
While I love "real science" and I know that my heart will
always quicken when I open up a _Science_ or _Nature_, I
am fed up and frustrated with many aspects of academic
science.  I will finish my doctorate and may even do a
postdoc or some such if I get a really good offer, but
I know that I might turn my attention before long to work
in industry and  also in science and technology policy.
Just as I don't narrowly define myself as *only* a computer
scientist, but rather as a *problem-solver* trained in a
few fields for interesting interdisciplinary work, similarly
I don't see myself as *just* a scientist but rather as a
scientifically trained thinker (well, I try,), problem-solver,
and world citizen.   

  I, too, have seen the lives of friends in science *crumble*
(temporarily, thank goodness,) when their ride on the Real
Science Fast Track[tm] came to a sudden halt, due to personal
or funding reasons, and they had *no* idea that there is
anything else they could do with their intelligence, diligence,
and energy.

  The narrow, all-or-nothing views of many of our colleagues
sadden me, because their lack of breadth threatens not only
to impoverish their own lives and careers but also diminishes
the quality of scientific research, which increasingly requires
diverse backgrounds, vivid imagination across disciplines,
and flexibility w.r.t where and how science is done.

 -- Evan


Evan W. Steeg (416) 978-7321      steeg at ai.toronto.edu (CSnet,UUCP,Bitnet)
Dept of Computer Science          steeg at ai.utoronto    (other Bitnet)
University of Toronto,            steeg at ai.toronto.cdn (EAN X.400)
Toronto, Canada M5S 1A4           {seismo,watmath}!ai.toronto.edu!steeg

More information about the Biomatrx mailing list