Thomas Pollard — Replication Issues

LC: An often-cited problem in research is that replicating results is very rare, that nobody goes through the effort of checking published papers for accuracy. I’ve read some studies where they do a review of other papers and they say something like “We found errors in 20-30 percent of these.” Is that a problem, is there a way to solve it, that there’s no incentive to repeat other peoples’ experiments?

Thomas Pollard — Computational Approaches in Biology

LC: I wanted to ask about the increasing role of computational techniques in biology. You’re in cell biology, which is not something people would typically think of as something you do on a computer, but I’m sure that modeling is hugely important in cell biology.

TP: Yes, so let’s look at the historical perspective on this. Forty years ago, the people who were trying to do modeling in cell biology had almost no impact because not enough was known to make reasonable assumptions for a model and computers weren’t very powerful. We used to have a computer in the lab as big that cabinet, it had 48k of RAM...