Sydney Brenner's views on systems biology:
He called upon the young students of the institute not to be seduced by fields such as systems biology, where producing data has become a ‘substitute for thinking.’ “There is a crisis in all sciences these days. We are drowning in a sea of data, and yet we are thirsty. Science today rewards only those who collect and distribute data. There is no reward for those who organise the data and theorise based on it,” he said.
I don't know if this is a problem that is specific just to systems biology but rather molecular biology in general. Thanks to high throughput tools such as sequencers and gene expression arrays, we're producing piles of data every day. What we need are tools to better integrate and make sense of what is going on. Semantic web to the rescue?