Jim's View - Playing Billiards with Science

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A friend once told me that it is good to keep an open mind, so long as it is not so open your brains fall out. I sometimes wonder if we are not in danger of this today in biology and in medical research more generally. We are simply awash in data. It seems there are now almost as many kinds of “omics” as there are genes in an animal. Sequences of DNA. Patterns of RNA. Proteomes. Interactomes. Patterns of methylation and the like. The lists go on, the accumulating result of impressive advances in scalable analytical biochemistry and computing power. As these approaches rapidly become standardized and progressively lower in cost, it becomes very seductive for many scientists to collect ever more data with no hypothesis in mind, justified by the apparent virtue of being “unbiased”.

What is the difference between Artificial Intelligence and the Human Mind? What is the potential of so called "Discovery Science"? Is Machine Learning endowed with the power of reason?

James Rothman, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2013 and Sterling Professor and Chair of the Department of Cell Biology at Yale University, elegantly addresses these key questions in this Jim's View entitled "Playing Billiards with Science".

Read the full article here:

Rothman, J. (2018) Jim's View: "Playing Billiards with Science" FEBS Lett


Jim's View is a column within the Scientists' Forum section of FEBS Letters where James Rothman provides witty and provocative perspectives on different topics concerning science today. Check out the first of Jim's Views on the FEBS Network or at the following link: Jim's View: “Some Thoughts for Young Scientists”

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