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Of Poets and Bookkeepers

Scientists should think like a poet, but then toil away like a bookkeeper, evolutionary biologist and author E. O. Wilson tells Ira Flatow on NPR's Science Friday.

"I've always felt that scientists fantasize and dream and bring up metaphor and fantastic images as much as any poet. … And the difference is that at some point, the scientist has to relate the dreams to the real world, and that's when you enter the bookkeeper's period," Wilson says. "Unfortunately, it's the bookkeeper period which leads sometimes to months or years of hard work that too many prospective scientists and students interested in science see, rather than the creative period."

Wilson adds that he's seen students at Harvard University, where he is a professor emeritus, turn away from science because of their fear of mathematics. He says, though, that math skills aren't the most important ability for a scientist to have. Instead, a passion for science is.

The Scan

Back as Director

A court has reinstated Nicole Boivin as director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Science reports.

Research, But Implementation?

Francis Collins reflects on his years as the director of the US National Institutes of Health with NPR.

For the False Negatives

The Guardian writes that the UK Health Security Agency is considering legal action against the lab that reported thousands of false negative COVID-19 test results.

Genome Biology Papers Present Epigenetics Benchmarking Resource, Genomic Architecture Maps of Peanuts, More

In Genome Biology this week: DNA methylation data for seven reference cell lines, three-dimensional genome architecture maps of peanut lines, and more.