Tuesday, February 01, 2011

#Badomics word of the day (or even month): Culturomics

Omics omics omics. The suffix is everywhere. And this paper has one of the worst ones I have seen in a while: Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books. paper came out right when I started winter vacation, which is why I am getting to it now ...

In this paper, which is pretty cool, the authors make use of digitized books to track and study cultural trends. The data is f#*$#$ impressive. The results are very very interesting. The press coverage was very positive. The word, however, was and is awful. Did they really really have to call it culturomics, thereby contaminating their fascinating work with all the baggage of genomics? Really? Really? For that you get a Bad Omics Word of the Day Award.

Anyway - here are some links to coverage of the culturomics work, which as I said, is quite impressive. Just wish they had come up with their own non omicy word:
Hat tips to many people including Morgan Langille, Elizabeth Pringle, Michael Dunn, Nick Matzke, Mihai Pip and Sergios-Orestis Kolokotronis for calling my attention to culturomics.

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