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What is a Bioinformatician?

Peter Karp pkarp at ai.sri.com
Sun Mar 16 23:22:52 EST 1997

> I agree with this rather pessimistic view. At the end of one meeting on
> bioinformatics, when several senior industry figures (especially from
> Smithkline Beecham)had said how they needed multidisciplinary
> bioinformaticians, how they were the life blood of the company, I asked
> whether they would actually hire someone who did not fall into a
> pre-defined emplyment box. Rather to their own embarassment, they all said
> that, no, their companies would not. They just did not have the mechanisms
> for identifying someone who was good at an ill-defined subject (i.e. one
> that did not fit into the form on an HR person's desk), nor the mechanisms
> for evaluating, using and promoting (or firing) them once they had got
> them. So, while evryone talks about multidisciplinary work, the big
> companies cannot hire people to do it.

I find your comments hard to understand given that SmithKline has in
fact hired a number of very good multidisciplinary bioinformaticians.


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