Ape Man's guide to the Internet: In the Pipeline…

The best part and main problem with Derek Lowe’s blog “In the Pipeline” are one and the same. After all, the blog is all about chemistry and the life of a chemist. For some people, reading about that subject is like watching paint dry. But if you have just a smidgen of intellectual curiosity, In the Pipeline is a real jewel.

After all, you are getting the inside scoop from a chemist in pharmaceutical industry. Not that he will give any details of the projects that he is currently working on, of course. Still, his opinions on the various issues surrounding the pharmaceutical industry are a fascinating window on what the people actually doing the research think. Better yet are the posts on how they actually do the research and the problems they encounter in the industry.

If that is not enough to keep you entertained, Lowe can be counted on to comment on most major news stories that have a chemistry component. For example, check out this piece on the Floyd Landis’s doping scandal. Or this post on polonium poisoning. And of course he has countless posts on any major news story involving a pharmaceutical company.

The best part of all of this is that Derek Lowe can actually write and he acts like an adult when it comes to interacting with his commenters. This is an unfortunately rare combination in the blog world. In my limited experience, most of Lowe’s contemporaries in the scientific blogging community lack one or both traits.

The closest thing I can come to a complaint about Lowe’s blog is that he is not very original in his thinking. If you have a general idea of what highly educated people in the scientific fields who are conservatives think, you already know the broad outlines of what his views on all of the issues are. I understand that we are all products of our environment to one degree or another. But it would be nice if Lowe would come up with a viewpoint that really surprised me for once.

For blogs on politics or something like that, this lack of originality would be a big problem. But I read In the Pipeline to get the views of someone who knows a lot about chemistry and the pharmaceutical industry, so I can’t really complain if that is all I get. Especially since Lowe does such good job of purveying the information in ways that an ignoramus like me can understand.

One Response to “Ape Man's guide to the Internet: In the Pipeline…”

  1. […] Derek Lowe has an interesting post up on the patenting of genes. Well worth taking a look at for a more technical description of the problems with the practice. […]

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