Monday, June 13, 2005

Holla Back At Me.

I'm back from North Carolina. The combination of sitting behind the wheel of my car for 16+ hours and sitting in uncomfortable chairs for 20+ hours in the past few days has left my back in tangles. I spent the good part of Sunday laid out on my couch trying to recover -- although, the two hours of playing ultimate frisbee on Sunday probably didn't help much. Who the hell has lower back problems in their mid-twenties? It just ain't right!

In the process of looking over some old data (not my own data -- really old data from the 1950s) in preparation for a committee meeting in a couple of weeks, I rediscovered a journal article by Dobzhansky entitled, "Indeterminate Outcome of Certain Experiments on Drosophila Populations." This title left me almost as confused as the lyrics to "Hollaback Girl." Why publish indeterminate results? What experiments? Which Drosophila populations? Could an article this vague be accepted for publication in today's competitive scientific environment?

Dobzhansky was notorious for publishing a lot of papers and often criticized for his style of doing science. Some have gone so far as to say he performed half-assed experiments and never analyzed his data with the rigorous attention it deserved. I can neither confirm nor deny such reports and leave the discussion to the experts. While I sit here, my back screaming at me for putting it through hell the last few days, I can only wonder if I could get a paper published entitled, "Unclear Results of Some Analysis of a Drosophila Genome."


At 10:09 PM, Blogger Ranger of the West said...

I'm in my twenties and have back problems. But I'm also really tall, that may have something to do with it.

Yeah, that Gwen Stefani song made me scratch my head too. But the song is good and so is most of the album.

At 4:25 AM, Blogger Peter Ellis said...

"I can neither confirm nor deny such reports and leave the discussion to the experts.

Or, as you could have titled the post, "Indeterminate Outcome of Some Investigation of a Scientist's Record"



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