Medical Research Funding

William Tivol tivol at news.wadsworth.org
Tue Dec 26 17:58:38 EST 1995


Alexander Berezin (berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA) wrote:

: BEREZIN:
: I may dispute this: for example, sociological studies for the
: crime prevention are perhaps not less socially important for
: the American society at this point.

	There is also the point that many of the topics in behavioral sciences
are beyond our current capabilities.  It doesn't make sense to try to prevent
crime through social research, although attempting to understand the bases
for human behavior and its range with a long-term goal which includes crime
prevention is potentially useful.  Whether there are projects which are suf-
ficiently well-defined to be funded (apart from the basic grant which we both
think should acrue to all researchers worth the name) is arguable.  However,
the idea that there should be a sense of proportion in $$$ allocation is well-
taken.

: I suggest that BASIC research of all kinds (incl. biomedical)
: be supported on equal footing with other areas through the
: single source - National Endowment for Sciences and Arts.
: (after all, medicine was "art" in ancient times). This will
: provide long needed restrain for strengthening and focusing
: of fundamental medical research towards real problems rather 
: than solving numerous gargantuan pseudo-problems. 

	Unfortunately, single-source funding mechanisms are vulnerable to the
kinds of political shifts as are occurring in the USA at present.  Having mul-
tiple funding sources (private as well as various levels of government) can
help stabilize things.
				Yours,
				Bill Tivol



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