A Healthy Dose of Scepticism
Titus Brown’s latest post (which opens with, “The latest hot idea for making a protein-protein interaction database leaves me lukewarm”) should be read by every computer scientist who’s “just trying to help”:
…while tools can be helpeful, the fundamental problem is much more, well, fundamental: science is hard. Connecting the dots is hard. Thinking clearly about the problem and separating the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, is hard. I worry that for the majority of biologists, new tools are going to be more distracting than helpful. We need to build simpler, easier-to-use tools, not more complicated tools; we need to keep our focus on the goal (solving biological problems) and not just on intermediate stages like improving databases and building better prediction tools.