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Prof. Speed: We salute you!

Matt Ritchie alerted me that Terry Speed was awarded The 2012 Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation for his contribution to the life sciences:

It's great to see Terry's sustained efforts and massive contribution to science and humanity recognised in this way. I was particularly struck by the words used in describing Terry's achievements:

"In many ways, Professor Speed’s work has been a shield against bad science. Without rigorous and practical analytical methods, the data obtained from new genomic technologies can be meaningless. Incorrect statistical analysis can lead to research and trends for new treatments heading down the wrong road, leading to a waste of money and putting patients at risk."

For me, this encapsulates the key motivation for bioinformatics, biostatistics and other areas of quantitative bioscience.

It also reminds me that the other day, I was talking with Rod Lamberts about how to convey the critical importance of bioinformatics in terms that most folks could relate to.

Between us, we came up with "Bioinformatics: Get it wrong and everything else is crap."

Possibly not what you'd put on a glossy brochure to the minister's office, but definitely in keeping with the finer words used in describing Professor Terry Speed's award.

The Australian Bioinformatics Network salutes you, Prof. Speed!


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