The title is, obviously, an overstatement, exaggeration, and blatant misrepresentation. But it gets your attention, don’t it? Anyway, Hawks has been questioning whether genomics is really any different from genetics. In this post, he says something that I’ve been thinking for a while:
“Actually, the thing that bothers me about genomics is not the renaming — I’m totally fine with coming up with clever new names, even if they carry little information content . . . What bothers me is that so many people are being trained in genomics without learning any genetics!”
I agree. Entirely. I know a lot of people studying genomics who never took a course in either classical genetics or molecular genetics. Some have taken one, but not the other. Furthermore, there are a lot of people studying evolutionary genomics who have never taken a course in population genetics. I know one faculty member who will no longer sit on someone’s graduate committee unless they take his population genetics course (unless he’s the outside faculty member). I’m running into more an more people who have come from a non-biology background and don’t even know the basic biology behind their system of interest. You’d think that if your background is in the computational sciences and you made the jump into the life-science, you would enjoy taking a more mathematically oriented course like popgen.