Thursday, March 22, 2007

In Big Bold Letters

Those of you out there who have published scientific papers, have you ever seen this?

By 'this,' I mean a big red stamp on a returned manuscript alerting the expectant scientist that his or her paper has passed muster in the peer review process. Wouldn't it be great if we had such hard evidence of personal success? These days, notice of acceptance arrives by email.

This is an ad from Qiagen. They are a company that produces all kinds of kits to purify DNA and RNA.

Look at the woman in the ad showing her colleague the outcome of her clearly successful experiment. The accepted figure is a nice sigmoidal curve, but does anyone actually publish QPCR cycle data? Usually those graphs have to be analyzed, and boiled down into a couple of numbers.

Anyway, I thought this was funny. Maybe some of you out there appreciate this, too.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

at least someone is focussing on what OUR goal is, not the suppliers

thomas said...

Is our goal really to publish papers?

I know that is the only thing in my sights right now, since I want to graduate soon, but should publishing papers be the goal of science?

Drugmonkey said...

yes, yes it should. if you are not communicating something worth archiving to your fellow scientists...are you really doing science?

thomas said...

What I meant to ask is whether publishing papers is the ends of science. In practice, it surely seems as though it is. In principle, the ends of science are much larger than an archive. But as you know, the reward system is oriented more toward archiving than applying.

Maybe it's the engineer in me that prizes the kind of knowledge that makes life easier, more productive or happier. Or maybe it's because I am reading a biography about Ben Franklin right now...