Message from ISCB

Explain Bioinformatics to Your Grandmother!

  • Virginie Bernard,

    Affiliation: Next Generation Sequencing Platform - ICGex, Curie Institute, Paris, France

  • Magali Michaut mail

    Affiliation: Computational Cancer Biology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Published: October 31, 2013
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003305

Reader Comments (6)

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Grandmothers can be scientists too

Posted by neilfws on 01 Nov 2013 at 02:32 GMT

I would like to suggest that when searching for a label to define a lay, or non-scientific audience, that authors try not to use words like "grandmother."

Most scientists know at least one scientist who is also a grandmother. I can think of several bioinformaticians who are probably grandmothers too.

We have some serious career issues in science - gender equality is one of them. I think we should avoid labelling groups of people (such as grandmothers) as "people unlikely to understand science." I'm sure that in this case it was a casual choice of word and the authors meant nothing by it. However, addressing these issues means thinking about the words we use and asking whether they are potentially harmful or inappropriate.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Grandmothers can be scientists too

pmmgladieux replied to neilfws on 01 Nov 2013 at 22:20 GMT

totally agree

by the way, my grandmothers are dead

No competing interests declared.