Professor of Molecular Systems Biology, Institute of Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Raising the field’s profile…“When you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind" is a quote attributed to Lord Kelvin. In essence it states that at the root of scientific investigations are data, frequently generated by analytical science and technology. This notion is reinforced if we follow advances in many fields of research including chemistry, physics, atmospheric science and the life sciences. In recent years the impact of analytical sciences in the life sciences has been particularly impressive. Advanced fluorescent imaging techniques were the basis for sequencing the genome, cryoEM single particle analysis indicates the structure of biomolecules at atomic resolution and mass spectrometric techniques have made great inroads towards the exploration of the many layers of information of the proteome. Following Lord Kelvin’s quote the profile of analytical science could therefore be raised by highlighting not just the performance metrics of analytical methods but rather their contributions to shaping the understanding of the world we live in.