Posts Tagged Homicide

The Scientific Work Of Amy Bishop

Posted by on Sunday, 21 February, 2010

An Assertive Professor

Shoot! No Tenure.

“It didn’t happen. There’s no way … they are still alive.” – Amy Bishop, being taken to jail.


Amy Bishop (Assistant Professor Of Biology at the University of Alabama) figured out that  her colleagues weren’t gonna give her tenure.

So she shot them.

TOO assertive, we think. They say she also  shot and killed her brother in 1986, was a suspect in a bombing, may have assaulted someone in a restaurant and, supposedly, had a long history of hinkey behavior.


You, the readers of Science Ain’t So Bad, aren’t the SORT to be titillated by violence.

Or sex, for that matter.

If you’re here, you’re here to read about science and technology and, I’m sure your questions about Dr. Bishop are more about her scientific work.

Proud OF you!

Well, as a published author, Bishop isn’t prolific. R Douglas Fields (Psychology Today) took a look and says the list is short.

Her newest stuff is about nitric oxide, a compound that has multiple and important uses in human (and nonhuman) biology. Her research leads her to a radical view of the causes of MS –  a view which is still considered pretty “iffy”. Shooting her colleagues, obviously, might not add weight to her arguments, although, strictly speaking, scientific ideas should be evaluated on their own merits.


An article in the Boston Herald says Bishop included her minor kids on at least one of her papers.

MISTER ScienceAintSoBad thinks that’s nice. If she hadn’t done such awful things and if her contributions were solid, the “kids on the research paper” thing wouldn’t get counted as a foul here.

The article by Fields also describes a system for maintaining neurons in cell culture – an “automated Petri Dish” – for which Bishop had obtained a patent. If the device was getting lost in the noise of all the other patents, that should change now. (No such thing as bad news? Do I believe this?). But Fields sounds dubious about the prospects for the invention.


As far as Bishop’s teaching is concerned, her student reviews didn’t seem bad. Look for yourself.

Nobody’s  heartless enough to give a ScienceAintsoBadRating on this one.  Instead, we offer our sincere condolences to those who have suffered, including Bishop’s own family and we mourn the almost certain loss of her  potential contributions to the scientific world and to the community at large.