Several times recently, I wanted to write something like:
over the last decade, increasing numbers of bioinformaticians work relatively isolated from each other, e.g. where small numbers of bioinformaticians are embedded in bench-biology labs/institutes/companies
in the context of discussing the changing needs of support (careers services, professional networks, etc.) of the bioinformatics community.
But this is just my gut feeling, and isn't based on any concrete data; I could, of course, well be wrong!
I've spent some time, therefore, looking for publications/references/analyses of the demographics of bioinformaticians, the kinds of job they tend to have (postdocs, predocs, managers, tech support, core services), the kinds of contexts that they're working in (pharma, biotech, academic groups/departments; surrounded by many other bioinformaticans, or relatively isolated from others etc.), i.e. the demographics of the profession. But so far, I've not found anything that helps address these specific questions, back up these kinds of statements.
Maybe I'm not the only person who has wanted to write this kind of thing; in which case, it'd be great to hear how you went about referencing/assessing this kind of statement (or if you too were stuck, like me, and just went with your gut feelings! :) ).
Plenty of obvious problems with doing this kind of thing, not least defining what it is to be a bioinformatician, how to classify different kinds of jobs etc., so it may well be that there isn't anything like this out there.
I guess one possible source of information on this could be the ISCB membership data, maybe I should contact them and see if they have any comments/surveys/summaries of this...