A recent article in Nature talking about the HHMI's Janelia Farm Research Campus was quite interesting but has me a little aghast at a comment made by executive director Gerald Rubin. Rubin says that Janelia Farm needs to be able to pass the "deletion test" in order to be considered a success. The deletion test is analogous to knocking out a gene in order to determine its functions, so without the contributions of the might Janelia Farm what may we mere scientific plebes never have discovered. I have not heard such hubris since the cocaine-laden days of the 1980s or more recently strategic planning by institutional presidents (we'll cure cancer in 10 years). My skepticism in not to say that Janelia isn't a fantastic environment to foster scientific excellence or that they won't achieve great discoveries in the future, but my god man, temper your words. Don't flap your gums and say crap like that you would consider yourself a failure if 20 years from now you find that you have just "..recreated the Salk Institute."
Oh and the nature article plots out the # number of glamour mag publications over the years coming out of Janelia Farm (I wouldn't expect anything less from the folks at Nature, or Science, or Cell). So I guess if you are working at the farm its either go big or go home as well too? I have high hopes for this place but don't start pissing matches by running your mouth.