Biological Informatics question

Gabriel A. Eickhoff eickhoff at UMICH.EDU
Wed Jan 31 02:17:47 CST 2001

Rich is quite right. Formulating a more specific name for either "classical
biological informatics" or "molecular biological informatics" is rediculous.
Think about confusing it would be to a lay person, or even an
informed scientist who is just not versed in informatics, to distinguish
between "bioinformatics" and "biological informatics". It unncessarily
complicates things.
Look, Biology is biology, and thats all their is to it. Thus one term,
"bioinformatics", should be used to cover both ends of the spectrum. Think
about how childish it is to say,
   "Oh, well those guys over there playing with their molecules and cells
have already used the term abundantly, and since we don't do the same kind
of work, the science its not the same as ours, so lets get our own name."

I say, if you can't tell from the title of a paper, then take a few seconds,
get off your arse, read a few lines into an abstract and ascertain for
yourself wheither its a "molecular" paper or a "classical taxonomic" paper.
Quit being so lazy that we have to assign a specific name to every specific

Everyone wants their "camp" to be unique and not categorized under a bigger
title, even if that title is the wonderful title of "biological".

"Hooey I that." Thats what I say.

We all in some way work around biology. Bioinformatics should cover all of
"biology". If you are upset or disconcerted because molecular biology has
seemingly taken over the title, then get working, publish more and somewhere
in the title throw the word "bioinformatics" and balance out the scales of
representation in the subject.


Gabriel A. Eickhoff
The University of Michigan
Museum of Zoology
Ann Arbor, Michigan

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