by Zephyris via GNU Free Documentation License
By: Rebecca Cerio
Our weekly linkpost, bringing you interesting and informative links on science policy issues buzzing about the internet.
Study Says DNA’s Power to Predict Illness Is Limited – Will knowing your entire genome help predict how and if you will get sick? One study using identical twins that attempts to determine the rate at which your genes predict your health says…not really. The original study by Roberts, et al is here behind Science Translational Medicine ‘s paywall. (by Gina Kolata via The New York Times)
Reforming Science –
Two editorials in Infection and Immunity discuss the pressures facing science as a whole…and how to ease them.
“We call for a cultural change in which scientists rediscover what drew them to science in the first place. In the end, it is not the number of high-impact-factor papers, prizes, or grant dollars that matters most, but the joys of discovery and the innumerable contributions both large and small that one makes through contact with other scientists. […]it is reasonable to ask whether the current scientific culture is allowing science to be as fruitful as it could be, particularly when the present system provides such potent incentives for behaviors that are detrimental to science and scientists.”
The authors focus on problems such as decreased funding, increased administrative burden, and cultural attitudes about cooperation and scientific worth. Happily, they suggest some concrete steps that can be taken to address these issues and beef up science’s health. The authors admit, however, that they are suggesting “nothing less than a comprehensive reform of scientific methodology and culture”, which would likely face significant financial, political, and sociological challenges both from scientists and those who fund it. (Both editorials by Roberto Casadevall and Ferric C. Fang)
Have an interesting science policy link to share? Let us know in the comments!