Central vs. distributed facility debate

Keith Robison robison1 at husc10.harvard.edu
Wed Jun 10 16:04:58 EST 1992

kristoff at genbank.bio.net (David Kristofferson) writes:

>...my position on this has always been
>one of compromise.  I believe that there will always be a place for
>central facilities because the less wealthy institutions do not always
>have the resources to buy their own equipment and, ***even more
>importantly***, hire the scarce expertise needed to provide proper
>service.  Central facilities can be a cost effective way to assist
>them, e.g., on BIONET and GOS a small number of expert systems people
>were able to service literally **thousands** of biologists.

Hear, hear!  One thing which is frequently lamented is the skyrocketing
cost of doing research in biology, which puts it out of reach for
faculty and students at small schools.  The availability of powerful
internet resources levels the playing ground to a certain degree 
for computational molecular biology, since an awful lot of biological
information can be uncovered using relatively cheap computing equipment
and cheaper undergraduate labor.  Also, the reagent costs are _much_ 
cheaper :-)   (a very significant factor for small colleges)

>				Dave Kristofferson
>				GenBank Manager

>				kristoff at genbank.bio.net

Keith Robison
Harvard University
Program in Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

robison at ribo.harvard.edu 

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