A PLoS Computational Biology paper poses the question of whether or not the term "bioinformatics" is still in vogue.
In paper entitled "Rise and Demise of Bioinformatics? Promise and Progress," Christos Ouzounis, a visiting professor at University of Toronto and associate researcher and principal investigator at CERTH, argues that compared to a decade ago, when the word "bioinformatics" was used with excitement, it is now in decline. In fact, Ouzounis points to analytics from Google Trends that suggest a pattern of decline in appearances of the term "bioinformatics" in Google News, which has diminished by six-fold over last seven years.
Ouzounis writes that "such a trend cries out for an explanation. Why is it that a field that appeared unstoppable in all its glory just a few years ago might already be exhibiting signs of (media) fatigue? And does this trend indicate lack of progress, lack of interest, both, or none of the above?"
The author traces the evolution of bioinformatics from its "infancy period" (1996-2001), the "adolescence period" (2002-2006), and the "adulthood" period (2007-2011).
In his paper, Ouzounis is essential trying to assess the development of the field of bioinformatics and its promise by looking at the predictions made when it first came onto the scene (and into the literature). He concludes by writing that it can be argued that the declining trend of the use of the word "bioinformatics" "might be attributed mostly to the nature of the field, which found itself in the midst of the turmoil of a wider transformation, driven by industrial and social needs. In other words, it is not lack of interest and definitely not lack of progress: instead, it might be exactly the opposite. The vast progress and the dislocation of traditional biological research into a more precise and quantitative science has moved computational biology from the fringes to the eye of the storm."