Gene and Tonic, June 21, 2016: Flatley, Herper, Knoepfler, and the Brexit

Theral Timpson

Flatley on His Way to Sainthood

Not yet out of the corner office at Illumina, CEO Jay Flatley was further canonized today by Business InsiderAs 35th on the list of the BI 100 Top Creators of Value, we learn that Jay created the market for genetic testing from scratch.  

And just in six days.

For fellow lister, Anne Wojcicki of 23andMe, Flatley is known modestly . . .  as "the ruler of this whole universe."

For others, he's known as Jay of Arimathea because he founded the Holy Grail.  

For the upcoming list BI Top Destroyers of Value, Mendelspod wants to nominate John Carreyrou, journalist at the WSJ who took all of Elizabeth Holmes' money from her.  If it hadn’t been for Jon’s timely articles, Holmes might have been listed above Flatley as a Creator of Value--a thought that a year ago would not be so preprosterous.


Not Getting Off Thought Free

Forbes journalist, Matthew Herper, put his career on the line this week when he proposed an original idea.

The idea?  It doesn’t matter.  

“Journalists should not be putting their own ideas out there,” wrote one of a number of disgruntled readers.  “It’s the job of a Forbes journalist to build their brand, first of all, by repeating others, preferably Ayn Rand and, second, by piling up opinions that are free of any original thinking. 

Herper’s proposal, the creation of a government-run fund that would single handedly be able to lower drug prices, reveals a writer willing to risk it all.  

“Matt’s had a tough go of it at Forbes,” said a former mentor who wished to remain anonymous.  “I mean, just standing up for the FDA has already been a huge gamble.  First you become a lone wolf and fall away from the pack here and there, then before you know it, you begin to stumble on to your own ideas.  He obviously tries.  Even though he’s proposing a government program, he did put “market-based” into the headline."


83% of British Scientists Against Leaving the EU

Today we found out the Brexit is pretty much a done deal.  When so many scientists are against something, the majority of the people will certainly be for it.


My Guide for Reading My OpEd

Berkley stem cell biologist and compulsive blogger, Paul Knoepfler, authored an OpEd in the San Francisco Chronicle beating up on CIRM this past week.  Then he turned around and wrote another OpEd on his blog saying that he loved CIRM.

This practice is known outside academic circles as . . . . “being an academic.”

Come on, Paul.  It’s also known as being a waffler.  When you publish an OpEd, at least give your regular blog readers the day off.


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