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The Limits of "Citizen Science"

Should science be more transparent? Maybe, says Imperial College, London's Alice Bell in The Guardian, but some data isn't easily shared, and data by itself means nothing. "Information may be 'beautiful' but on its own, it is inert," Bell says. "Opening data sets doesn't necessarily unlock the craft of knowledge-making. It takes time to learn these skills." The public can certainly be involved in the construction of knowledge, but only in collaboration with scientists, "precisely because data needs context and often requires specialist skills to analyze," she adds. Instead of using a battering ram to knock down the doors to the lab, Bell suggests, "maybe an invite for a cup of tea and a chat would be a more effective model." Invite the citizens in, but remember that the scientists, their skills, methods, equipment, and expertise are still important too.

The Scan

Rise of BA.5

The New York Times reports that the Omicron subvariant BA.5 has become the dominant version of SARS-CoV-2 in the US.

UK Health Secretary Resigns

Sajid Javid, the UK health secretary, resigned along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying they cannot work with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, CNN reports.

Clones From Freeze-Dried Cells

A team in Japan has cloned mice from freeze-dried skin cells, according to the Guardian.

Genome Research Papers on Craniosynostosis, Macaque Retrotransposition, More

In Genome Research this week: structural variants in craniosynostosis, LINE-1 activity in rhesus macaque brain, and more.