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Abolishing Serfdom in Academia

In an op-ed in the New York Times, Columbia's Mark Taylor says that "graduate education is the Detroit of higher learning" and that it needs to be revamped. Taylor suggests restructuring the curriculum, abolishing departments and creating problem-focused groups, increasing collaboration, transforming the dissertation so that alternative formats such as websites, films, and video games are acceptable, exposing students to job possibilities outside academia, and replacing tenure with seven-year contracts.

Bayblab's Bayman says that Taylor is "right on the money" and that he has "good ideas but I don't think any of his proposals would address the most serious problem, which is the supply-demand/slavery issue." At Tomorrow's Table, Pam Ronald says she's "not wild about the idea of abolishing tenure" but does like the idea of encouraging collaborations.

The Scan

NFTs for Genome Sharing

Nature News writes that non-fungible tokens could be a way for people to profit from sharing genomic data.

Wastewater Warning System

Time magazine writes that cities and college campuses are monitoring sewage for SARS-CoV-2, an approach officials hope lasts beyond COVID-19.

Networks to Boost Surveillance

Scientific American writes that new organizations and networks aim to improve the ability of developing countries to conduct SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance.

Genome Biology Papers on Gastric Cancer Epimutations, BUTTERFLY, GUNC Tool

In Genome Biology this week: recurrent epigenetic mutations in gastric cancer, correction tool for unique molecular identifier-based assays, and more.