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    Genome Biology: Bioinformatics: alive and kicking
    Submitted by J.W. Bizzaro; posted on Thursday, January 22, 2009


    An article by Franklin Award Laureate Lincoln Stein:

    ``Six years ago I felt like the boy who hit a telephone pole with a wooden stick at the exact instant a power failure darkened all the lights across the US Northeast. In February 2003 I gave a keynote address for the second annual O'Reilly Bioinformatics Technology Conference called 'Bioinformatics: Gone in 2012' in which I predicted that bioinformatics as a discipline separate from mainstream biology would be gone in ten years. My talk was met with resentment, disappointment and stunned disbelief by an audience of computer geeks who had come to the conference for the express purpose of getting in on the hot new thing. Worse, this was the year in which biotech and pharma realized they had significantly overinvested in bioinformatics and started large-scale layoffs. In the light of a downsized bioinformatics market, the O'Reilly publishing house cancelled a series of planned bioinformatics textbooks, and never sponsored another Bioinformatics Technology Conference. It seemed as though my predictions had come true ten years early, and although I knew it was all coincidental, I couldn't suppress the sinking feeling that I was the villain who triggered the collapse.

    ``As it happens, my predictions were quite wrong. Not only did bioinformatics recover nicely from its early-millennium swoon, but it looks like it is here to stay through 2012 and beyond. Is this a good thing? At the halfway point between my keynote address and the date of my dire predictions, let's have a look at my arguments and update them against what has happened since.''


    Hat tip: Clare Garvey

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