The academy and coding humour

Mar 03, 2013


humour, research


The academy is getting duller. The Excel sheet masters are everywhere. Or perhaps I am just getting old,  or missing a (silent) spring. One young shoot that makes me smile is the paper entitled:

“On the immortality of television sets: “function” in the human genome according to the evolution-free gospel of ENCODE”. It is free to read and a delight. Measured and scholarly. But wicked too. The final sentence:

We conclude that the ENCODE Consortium has, so far, failed to provide a compelling reason to abandon the prevailing understanding among evolutionary biologists according to which most of the human genome is devoid of function. The ENCODE results were predicted by one of its lead authors to necessitate the rewriting of textbooks (Pennisi 2012). We agree, many textbooks dealing with marketing, mass-media hype, and public relations may well have to be rewritten.

Post by Jonathan Rees

Clinical academic and skin watcher at the University of Edinburgh

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