"Two clichés of science journalism have now played out around the ENCODE project. ENCODE’s publicity first presented a misleading “all the textbooks are wrong” narrative about noncoding human DNA. Now several critiques of ENCODE’s narrative have been published, and one was so vitriolic that it fueled “undignified academic squabble” stories that focused on tone more than substance. Neither story line does justice to our actual understanding of genomes, to ENCODE’s results, or to the role of big science in biology."
HT +Eamonn Maguire
I suppose it shouldn't be surprising that these projects, which are very useful in themselves, fall over a bit on the spin doctoring. Are scientists really very adept at such things anyway? I suppose people spin their work because they feel it is necessary to continue funding - so, is it possible for funding agencies to understand the inherent worth of big experiments like ENCODE without
requiring a "change in human understanding" to go along with it?