Daily Archives: 24th of July 2012

Promusa – Mobilizing banana science for sustainable livelihoods | The ‘best genomics Venn diagram ever’ deconstructed : ProMusa blog

See on Scoop.itAnnBot

“It didn’t take long after the journal Nature put online the article on the banana genome sequence for bloggers to start commenting on the Venn diagram featuring a a bright yellow banana. David Ng at Popperfont qualified it as, “quite possibly the most complicated (and therefore awesome) Venn Diagram ever”. Jonathan Eisen, the scientist who coined the term phylogenomics, said that it was “perhaps the best genomics Venn diagram ever”, while Joe, of the It’s okay to be smart blog wrote that it is “a pretty genius way of delivering a bunch of banana data all at once”. He added that it was the first time he ever saw a six-way Venn diagram. Joe is right to be impressed, but the truth is that this is not the first ever six-way Venn diagram.

As a graphic designer correctly noted, the diagram was inspired by Edward’s six-set Venn diagram. I can confirm this because the bioinformatics scientist who did the number crunching and the Venn diagram for the Nature article is a Bioversity colleague.

It says a lot about the banana that its distinct shape would make people notice an otherwise arcane diagram. “
See on www.promusa.org

This Is Not A Science Book

The Geek Manifesto

The Geek Manifesto by Mark Henderson

The Geek Manifesto by Mark Henderson is a book which wears its heart on its sleeve. This is unashamedly a political book – a campaign. The author, Mark Henderson, is Head of Communications at the Wellcome Trust, and was formerly Science Editor of The Times. With those credentials, it is no surprise that The Geek Manifesto is powerfully and clearly written.

And yet… having just finished the book, I am troubled by certain aspects of it. Henderson is clear about the need for more evidence-driven policy in poitics, and yet seems strangely naive about the nature of politics itself. For me, Henderson succeeds in making the case that politicians choose to ignore scientific evidence when it suits them. But he fails to convince me that this book will make any substantial difference in a age of coalition politics and political contingency.

Where does this book leave us and what role should scientists play in politics?


The Geek Manifesto: Why Science Matters
By Mark Henderson
Bantam Press
ISBN: 978-0-593-06823-6

Read: Online extracts