Discussion: can't we all get along?

S L Forsburg forsburg at nospamsalk.edu
Mon Jun 22 15:07:33 EST 1998

Francis wrote,

> I agree with all you are saying, and I support it all ... I actually don't see
> an issue here. Don't most people agree with you?

I hope so!  I suspect a lot of people have never thought of it,
though, and misconceptions abound.  I recently had a
cerevisiae-trained postdoc earnestly tell me that he thought we 
couldn't do classical suppressor analysis in pombe.  Someone
 once told me at the YGM  that we had to make pombe more relevant to
"Yeast People".  And there are some pombe people who promote the 
ridiculous notion that pombe is  somehow "closer" to mammals than
cerevisiae.  (Evolutionary biologists go ballistic when they 
hear that one!)  
> Do you have example(s) of the opposite: people deciding (for example)
> to not support a specific research topic where it was deemed a 'simple'
> repetition of what was already done in "the other" yeast?

 I certainly have some personal examples from writing papers.  
The pombe  community, especially in the US,is quite small,  so 
our papers are frequently reviewed by cerevisiae people. (This 
does not work in reverse; I seldom get cerevisiae papers to review, 
even though I am actually bilingual....).  
This should not be a problem.  However, it
seems that I usually get at least one review that  boils down 
to one of two  things:

1) this is the same as what happens in cerevisiae so
therefore we haven't learned anything and it's not original.
2) We don't see this in cerevisiae so it can't be important/real.

This does suggest a "my-yeast-is-better" attitude on the part 
of some people.  My examples are going in one direction, but
I am quite certain that the same sort of bias  exists going 
the other way too.  My purpose here  is not to cast blame on
anyone but to suggest we heal such divisions and stop acting
threatened by each other.

Of course I could also get on my soapbox about the problems of
peer review, but at the moment, I'll stick to promoting a
more integrated yeast community!

Maybe we should have a "take-a-other-yeast-person-to-lunch day"!


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S L Forsburg, PhD  forsburg at salk.edu
Molecular Biology and Virology Lab          
The Salk Institute, La Jolla CA 

Women in Biology Internet Launch Page
"These are my opinions.  I don't have  
time to speak for anyone else."

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