Well, my snarky blog style with some of my awards comes with some risks. Today I experienced one of them. Stephan Schuster gave me some serious major grief over a post I wrote a few years ago. In the post I gave him an award for “Worst new omics word” for the word museomics. I gave this award because, well, I don’t like the word. I stand by my complaints about the word. But Stephan did highlight ( in his comments to me in the back of the room at the JGI User Meeting) that the word has been remarkably useful at getting money and attention for museum based genomics studies.
So I guess here is the dilemma. I realize new omics words can get attention. Omics is after all very hot still. But I write about #badomics words both because I think it is fun and also because I think people are careless with the language much of the time. Many omics words are really awful with no benefits. But some, fit my criteria as being badomics words, but can have positive benefits. To the public, the word museomics probably conjures up exactly what museum people want – the image of cutting edge science. Though I love museums, to some the conjure up images of dust and cobwebs and crotchety old scientists wandering around the halls in the dark. So the term museomics may indeed turn this on it’s head. This term even to me conjures up images of museums doing cool things. So alas, I guess this is a mea culpable of sorts. I still think the word itself is not great. After all, if you think about it, all it really means is doing genomics with museum specimens. But clearly Stephan has a good point … Getting attention to science is a good thing. So I guess badomics words can be used for good.
I am still going to snark about badomics words. But I will try to make more mention of the potential value they have in spreading science and omics to the masses ….
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
What a wimp out. Museomics is such a bad bad bad omics word.