mad scientist

By now it is well know that scientists are horrible people. It is clear from reports like that found last month in PLoS ONE that all scientists (OK, well more than 72%) are lying data falsifiers with questionable morals. This week we find out from the (n)ever insightful Sharon Begley of Newsweek that researchers are withholding life-saving information to further their careers. The selfish beasts! Just think of all the children whose lives could be saved if it weren't for these terrible scientists. Certainly the few anecdotes she presents are indicative of the entire reality faced by scientists and medical practitioners and not just sour grapes from researchers with an inflated sense of the importance of their research. Certainly these "top tier" journals are publishing complete rubbish instead of these seminal papers. Everyone knows that tenure decision are based solely on the number of publications a PI has in Nature. It has nothing to do with how much grant money (and therefore overhead to the institution) the PI brings in.

Of course these mass murderers must be stopped and Ms. Begley says the new head of NIH is just the one to do it. As many readers of this blog will undoubtedly know, Francis Collins, former head of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), has been rumored to be on the short list for NIH director. Now we must all ask ourselves, would Sharon Begley approve? With his penchant for pushing big projects like the Human Genome Project and the 1000 Genomes Project that have publications in prestigious journals, can he be trusted? Never mind his role in pushing for early release of human sequence data and driving GINA through the U.S. Congress. Prestige-hounds like Dr. Collins must be stopped!

(Yes, I'm being sarcastic. And, yes, I know publications and grant money are linked, but fairly weakly. Lots more people get grant money than are published in "top tier" journals. As Randy Newman sings, "it's money that matters".)