Multiple Funding Sources

Ferland Louis H. ferlandl at ERE.UMontreal.CA
Thu Dec 28 02:41:13 EST 1995

On 26 Dec 1995, Alexander Berezin wrote:

> Date: 26 Dec 1995 19:21:51 -0800
> From: Alexander Berezin <berezin at>
> To: bioforum at
> Subject: Multiple Funding Sources
> (new comment in the end, some stuff deleted - Alex Berezin)
> On 26 Dec 1995, William Tivol wrote:
> > Alexander Berezin (berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA) wrote:
> ....... 
> > : 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. 
> (TIVOL): 
> > 	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
> > 
> OK, there is a way to mediate the above offerings. Yes, multiple
> source funding scheme is better by a number of reasons, PROVIDED 
> there is a mechanism to control the TOTAL funding for a given
> researcher (group). At the moment, there is none and research 
> funding system works by the principle 'grab as much as you can'. 
> If sensible limitations on how much professor can responsibly
> do (researchwise) per year are accounted for, than the above 
> difficulties are largely solvable. I think, as average,
> responsible research production, will amount to
> around 2 to 4 papers per year (anything above 5 is either 
> exceptional or publish-perish treadmill). 

That's a new one! Are you really suggesting the government or some other 
system overlooking research funding should have not only the power but the 
duty to impose limitations on how much work a scientist is allowed to do? 
This is George Orwell revisited, especially with your wish for a 
POLITICAL will to administer such scientific limitation. You scare me!

> This limitation (those who are already reasonbly funded are
> ineligible to apply for more) is rather easy to administer,
> provided there is a political will for it.

More information about the Bioforum mailing list