bioinformatics, genomes, biology etc. "I don't mean to sound angry and cynical, but I am, so that's how it comes across"

We didn’t ask for it

We didn’t ask for a system that valued impact factor over scientific value; we  didn’t ask for the impact factor at all
We didn’t ask for a closed system of pay-to-access journals
We didn’t ask for closed peer review or snide comments lobbed from behind a screen of anonymity
We didn’t ask for glamour mags chasing the next big story
We didn’t ask for terrible funding rates or underfunded science budgets
We didn’t write all those PhD proposals with no hope of a scientific career
We didn’t ask for a terrible understanding of maths, or statistics or computer science
We didn’t ask for obfuscated methods hidden away in supplementary methods
We didn’t ask for “custom Perl script” or “prepared as previously described”
We didn’t ask for closed or unavailable data; we didn’t ask for the silo mentality
We didn’t ask for a gender imbalance and we didn’t ask for sexism
We didn’t create a system that favors men over women
We didn’t create male dominated editorial boards and we didn’t invite all those male speakers

We didn’t ask for it, and we don’t want it.  It’s what was given to us and we’re the ones who have to clean up the mess.

We didn’t ask for it, and we’re the ones who are going to change it.

Edit 12:06 GMT 18/11/2013

There perhaps should be some explanation.  I don’t know what this is, other than an our-pouring of frustration, on a Sunday, about issues that I feel I cannot change, or that I feel I cannot comment on.

I’m 38, mid-career, and I’ve been in academia for ~12 years.  All of the issues I allude to above were present when I started.  I didn’t create any of them and as far as I am able, I do not contribute to them either.


  1. Great attitude and the absolute right one.

  2. You can’t write or reason about these things a priori, only a posteriori. May the force be with you…

  3. Hey, hope that felt good. Facile blaming is easy to do, but it accomplishes nothing but passing problems to yet another generation. The fact is there’s perpetrators and victims at all age levels, and solving the problem likely involves the tough work of really identifying the hidden ways in which pretty much everyone contributes to it and enables it. When you’re actually doing something truly useful that hardly anyone else does, because its hard to do, and doing it for a prolonged time, and then deeply questioning how many other places in your life you could be taking similar steps, then maybe you’re starting to help out. And it probably doesn’t involve typing on your iPhone or iPad.

  4. I think you make my point absolutely perfectly – thank you!

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