THE PROBLEM OF SABOTAGE

Poor Richard an175779 at anon.penet.fi
Fri Apr 7 13:40:01 EST 1995


Poor Richard did not believe the stories he was told as an
undergraduate about students in organic chemistry laboratory
putting contaminating chemicals in reagent bottles in order
to provide them with a competitive edge.  On the other hand,
Poor Richard never got the highest yields of product in those
laboratories.

Now that Poor Richard is a mature scientist, he experiences a 
good deal of career sabotage during an average day.

Poor Richard remembers from his days in Paris that the word
sabotage derives from a french word which means 'to work badly'.
Poor Richard knows tha the intent of many of todays' top
scientists is that their junior colleagues struggle.  This is a
different philosophy than scientists of former years:  In those
times scientists aimed to help younger colleagues, believing that
there would be enough for everyone.

Today we are not so lucky.

Career sabotage has many manifestations.  It can vary from actually
firing someone from a corporate or academic job to simply delaying
supply orders.  It can be done by not providing clean water to do
molecular biology with.  It can be accomplished by not providing a
radiation license or not providing animal facility approval or by not
providing funds to maintain animals or cells.  It can be done by not
providing adequate labor, supplies or equipment to actually get a 
series of experiments (or clinical lab tests) done. It is usually
sin by omission rather than commission.  That is what makes it so
insidious.  Because it is not clearly intentioned, it is thought not
to be punishable.

Poor richard believes that the climate of freedom to sabotage younger
scientists by older scientists will change.  If the sabotaging climate
does not change as a consequence of orderly action by NIH, Congress and
the scientists themselves, then it is bound to change in a violent way.

Let us avoid violence.  Let us change science peacefully for the common good.

Let there be an immediate end to all scientific sabotage.

For those who will not observe the importance of ending this problem,
let us call for stiff penalties. Known scientific saboteurs are
stealing money from the government.  The government is us.  Scientists
who sabotage must go to JAIL!
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