Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

An Open Mouse

Carl Zimmer, The Loom, May 24, 2007

Two really useful ideas in one post. First, the author debunks the typical cause-effect picture of genetics portrayed in the media. You know, "You sometimes hear people talking about the 'gay gene,' the 'depression gene,'" and so on. But this view," writes the author, "is almost entirely divorced from reality." The illustration that shows this just perfectly - the network of genes surrounding obesity in mice - is taken from a scientific journal. Which leads to the second idea. "And what do I now hear from PLOS? Do I hear the grinding of lawyerly knives? No. I hear the blissful silence of Open Access... No muss, no fuss. If I want to blog about this paper right now, I can grab a relevant image right now from it. In fact, I just did... And it was so easy and straightforward for me to do so that I will be very reluctant to bother with anything else."

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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