Research at Janelia: Life on the farm : Nature News & Comment

“But what happens next? Can Janelia Farm do ‘great science’ during the next 5 to 10 years? Will it pass Rubin’s deletion test? Can it rewrite the introductory biology texts (Cech’s favourite definition of great science), or foster “a couple of programmes that create a whole new direction” (Tjian’s favourite)? That is the great unanswerable question. As Simpson says, “you can’t engineer great science. You just have to create the conditions that make it possible, and see what happens.””

Great overview of the current state of HHMI’s experiment in cross-disciplinary collaboration. I say, step back and let it happen. Heck, it’s only been five years.

But also, 1) don’t measure it against traditional measures; 2) serve a an inspiration, if not model, for other privately (foundation) funded institutes. The government is at its limit and we’re all fretting. We need new funding models. The HHMI and Jenelia is one.

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