Thursday, December 13, 2007

Isaac Newton of biology

Because a recent TRF text might suggest that I think that no blonde can possibly know whether France is a country, let us talk about a blonde who probably knows the answer. ;-)

Even though TRF remains the third Google hit for "Garrett Lisi", the fraction of TRF visitors who came because of this particular "new Einstein of particle physics" has fortunately dropped from 80% during the peak day to approximately 2%.

On the other hand, it's a pleasure to see that a more meaningful wave appeared. People are searching for the "Isaac Newton of biology", as
Esquire
calls her. TRF is the second Google hit for her name (after her lab that only achieved its PageRank because of a redirect from her previous Harvard FAS page) and about 10% of the readers get here because of
our interview with Franziska Michor.
Without much exaggeration, I think - not just because of this Esquire article - that Esquire has a more sensible and science-friendly reporting of science than the Telegraph and the Wall Street Journal. I would still say that it is Charles Darwin, not Franziska Michor (sorry, FM!), who is the Isaac Newton of biology but Esquire's approximation is simply better than others. ;-)




By the way, the title "Isaac Newton of biology" is not quite an invention of the journalist because in our interview, Franziska said that "biology without maths [was] like physics before Newton." Now, she is certainly not the first scientist who introduced maths to biology but again, it can be painted this way and Esquire does it.

The Esquire text was still more politically correct than what I would have liked but it could have been worse if they e.g. decided to emphasize her ala-111 SLC24A5 BF - whom I know as well and he is a great guy, of course.

1 comment:

  1. I've heard people from the computational neuroscience end of things talk about how biology has yet to experience the kind of deep shift in theoretical understanding like that Newton brought to physics. They would say their Newton hasn't come. I'd go with Darwin. Maybe Crick.

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