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Sunday, May 27, 2007

"Cracking the genetic code" and "mapping the genome"

Dear scientists and science journalists. Next time a genome sequence is published please do not refer to it as "cracking the genetic code" (that was done back in the early 60's) or "mapping the genome" (it's not the same as sequencing).

For a more complete explanation of why these terms are wrong see Cracking the Code by Ryan Gregory. I agree with his take on science journalism...
I think this is another symptom of too much journalism and not enough science in science journalism. Instead of resorting to the standard catchphrases and clichés, why not introduce your readers to some accurate terms and concepts with which they may not be familiar? You can catch the interest of readers and educate them on the basics rather than appealing to their misconceptions or lack of prior knowledge.

1 comment :

T Ryan Gregory said...

Credit to RPM of evolgen for adding the "mapping" component.