Speaking of Science

August 2015's selection of notable quotes

Aug 1, 2015
The Scientist Staff

HOLY HELL: Pope Francis has offered the strongest warning yet from the Vatican concerning climate change.© ISTOCK.COM/JIMMYJAMESBOND

A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events, even if a scientifically determinable cause cannot be assigned to each particular phenomenon. Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it.

Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, in a recent papal encyclical letter (June 18)


I don't get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or from my pope. . . . I think religion ought to be about making us better as people and less about things that end up getting in the political realm.

—GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, commenting on Pope Francis's encyclical warning of the real threat of climate change just prior to its official release (June 17)


If we hadn't had massive cuts to [the National Institutes of Health] we probably would have a vaccine for Ebola.

—Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO), architect of the "21st Century Cures" bill, which would increase NIH funding , quoting NIH Director Francis Collins (The New York Times, July 10)


Although differing perspectives on the irreproducibility rate in preclinical research may persist, one fact remains clear: the challenge of increasing reproducibility and addressing the costs associated with the lack of reproducibility in life science research is simply too important and costly to ignore.

Leonard Freedman of the Global Biological Standards Institute in Washington, DC, and coauthors, in a recently published PLOS Biology essay (June 9)


Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and—when you criticize them—they cry.

—Nobel Laureate Tim Hunt, speaking at a conference in South Korea. The biochemist resigned from posts at University College London, The Royal Society, and the European Research Council after the public uproar over the comments (June 10)


Along with many others, I didn't like Sir Tim Hunt's joke, but "disproportionate" would be a huge underestimate of the baying witch-hunt that it unleashed among our academic thought police: nothing less than a feeding frenzy of mob-rule self-righteousness.

Richard Dawkins, Oxford University evolutionary biologist and science writer, in a letter to The Times defending
Tim Hunt (June 19)

September 2018

The Muscle Issue

The dynamic tissue reveals its secrets


Sponsored Product Updates

StemExpress LeukopakâNow Available in Frozen Format

StemExpress LeukopakâNow Available in Frozen Format

StemExpress, a Folsom, California based leading supplier of human biospecimens, announces the release of frozen Peripheral Blood Leukopaks. Leukopaks provide an enriched source of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with low granulocyte and red blood cells that can be used in a variety of downstream cell-based applications.

New Antifade Mounting Media from Vector Laboratories Enhances Immunofluorescence Applications

New Antifade Mounting Media from Vector Laboratories Enhances Immunofluorescence Applications

Vector Laboratories, a leader in the development and manufacture of labeling and detection reagents for biomedical research, introduces VECTASHIELD® Vibrance™ – antifade mounting media that delivers significant improvements to the immunofluorescence workflow.

Enabling Genomics-Guided Precision Medicine

Enabling Genomics-Guided Precision Medicine

Download this eBook from Qiagen to learn more about the promise of precision medicine and how QCITM Interpret can help deliver better care with better knowledge.

Best Practices for Sample Preparation and Lipid Extraction from Various Samples

Best Practices for Sample Preparation and Lipid Extraction from Various Samples

Download this white paper from Bertin Technologies to learn how to extract and analyze lipid samples from various models!