More on peer review
Your recent article on peer review
Theodor Boveri Institute for Life Sciences
Scientists themselves must shoulder some of the blame, however. It is a double embarrassment to modern science, especially biological-biomedical science, that the community has allowed itself to be cowed into accepting the self-serving claim that Science, Nature and Cell publish better science than journals edited by distinguished scientists and that tenure and grant review committees now see publication in such journals as a requirement for success. This absurd situation places in the hands of inexperienced, nonworking scientists the power to determine in large measure the career paths of committed scientists and the future directions of research. Isn't it time for working scientists to take back control of the direction of their fields?
Abraham L. Sonenshein
Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston
When essential genes aren't that essential
In "Making due with the bare minimum"
Eric Rubin, Harvard University responds: We don't mean to suggest that there are not genes such as lon that are required only in minimal medium. In many cases, genes are not required for growth but rather to detoxify the product of other genes and, thus, are required in a wild type but not a mutant background. Nevertheless, in bacteria where a substantial number of genes are required for prototrophy, I still think that it is overwhelmingly likely that the number of genes required for survival will be far higher on minimal medium than on rich medium.
Fundamentalism and disease
Along with the Aum Shinirikyo, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, and Yazidis perhaps Jack Woodall
A better life for postdocs
As the first university in Europe, the Karolinska Institute founded Junior Faculty in 2002, offering a career development service for postdoctoral researchers with a PhD. We have addressed several of the concerns mentioned by the Postdoctoral Fellows Focus Group.
These include limiting postdocs to the five years following graduation, in the view that after five years, one should have established one's own line of research and taken the first steps toward an academic career. For those postdocs who find that the academic world does not suit them, we arrange numerous workshops, seminars, and career fairs. For those with academic ambitions, we arrange courses in grant writing and career planning for becoming an associate professor.
An appointed postdoc coordinator works at the Junior Faculty Office with overall responsibility for postdoc issues. The Junior Faculty Steering Group comprises junior researchers who set the agenda for the activities arranged by the Junior Faculty Office.
Sweden has recently established a Junior Faculty network, and we hope to serve as a good example for Junior Faculty offices within the global research community.
Johanna BÄckstrÖm, Karolinska Institute