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Posts tagged with "Who Discovers and Why"

  • In Silico

    Crossing Your Fingers, Authoritatively

    I recall a project earlier in my career where we’d all been beating on the same molecular series for quite a while. Many regions of the molecule had been explored, and my urge was often to leave the reservation. I put some time into extending the areas we knew about, but I wanted to go… Read More
  • Who Discovers and Why

    As Thin As a Soap Bubble

    Words of wisdom from Jane Galt over at Asymmetrical Information: “The appalling povery of Sri Lanka or Mozambique is not some bizarre aberration that can be tracked to a cause we can cure. We are the aberration; Sri Lanka and Mozambique are the normal state of human history.” Very sad, and very true. I’ve often… Read More
  • Who Discovers and Why

    Very Wrong, or Very Right

    It’s not completely fair of me to make fun of the old hype about rational drug design, because every moment has its overhyped technology. (Perhaps, as we’ve speculated around here before, today’s candidate is RNA interference. . .) All of it ends up sounding silly in the end. And the arrogant tone that the proponents… Read More
  • Birth of an Idea

    Don’t Talk To Yourself So Much

    I’ve been re-reading Francis Crick’s memoir What Mad Pursuit, and this passage struck me: “. . .it is important not to believe too strongly in one’s own arguments. This particularly applies to negative arguments, arguments that suggest that a particular approach should certainly not be tried since it is bound to fail. . .Whi… Read More
  • Who Discovers and Why

    Progress Through Craziness

    This weekend there was an interesting article in the International Herald Tribune by James Kanter and Carter Dougherty, on pharmaceutical research in Europe versus the US. I’ve written on this topic myself, pointing out that most European companies, when they’re expanding at all, are doing so in the US rather than in their own countries… Read More
  • Who Discovers and Why

    The Next Science

    Blogging time is sparse tonight, since I’m (finally) starting off Tax Season here at Rapacious Pharma Manor. But I wanted to point people to a longish post by William Tozier at Notional Slurry, on how he became a scientist – and on what sort of scientist he found himself becoming, and what to do about… Read More
  • Who Discovers and Why

    Right In Front of You

    Regular reader Qetzal pointed out in a comment to the “More Fun With DNA” post that a lot of neat discoveries seem – after you’ve heard about them – to be something that you could have thought up yourself. I know what he means. I’ve had that same “Yeah. . .that would work, wouldn’t it. Read More
  • Who Discovers and Why

    Research, The Right Way

    For today, instead of reading something over here, I’d like to send everyone over to Australian physicist Michael Nielsen. He’s been writing a manifesto about how to do research, and here’s the finished product. (Thanks to Chad Orzel for the link.) I find his prespective to be very accurate indeed. Readers may recognize some theme… Read More
  • Who Discovers and Why

    The Root of All Results?

    Mentioning well-heeled research establishments that don’t produce results brings up an interesting question: is there a negative correlation between funding and productivity? You might think so, given the example cited in the previous post, and given the cases cited in Robert S. Root-Bernstein’s Discovering. There have been many great s… Read More
  • Who Discovers and Why

    The Best Bad News He Ever Had

    The January 22 issue of Nature has a fine essay by Freeman Dyson (a hero of mine, I should add) about a fateful meeting he had with Enrico Fermi back in 1953. This was back when Dyson was a professor at Cornell, studying both the weak and strong nuclear forces. There was a fine theoretical… Read More
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