Funding and Orwell
tivol at news.wadsworth.org
Thu Dec 28 18:45:04 EST 1995
Gregory R. Harriman (gregoryh at bcm.tmc.edu) wrote:
: Whether this is Orwellian or not, I don't care to speculate on.
: However, if you place a strict limit on how much funding a researcher is
: provided, you most definitely place limits (by definition) on their
: research activities.
The elimination of the superconducting supercollider from the budget
places a restriction on physics research activities. In a world of finite
resources not everything can receive public money (or private for that mat-
ter). The decision to fund many smaller projects at the expense of the SSC
is similar to Alex's call to fund many more researchers at a basic level at
the expense of the larger labs.
: With regard to the
: competence of scientists; somehow managers, executives and leaders of all
: sorts are able to effectively manage large groups of people.
Usually by having a hierarchy wherein some managers supervise a few
other managers. It is very difficult to supervise more than ~10 people di-
rectly. In large labs, there are often "superpostdocs" who have responsi-
bilities for projects within the overall lab program. The lab chief dele-
gates responsibility for the details of these projects and supervises only
the superpostdocs directly.
: scientists inherently inferior to those leaders and therefore unable to
: manage more than 2-3 people?
The MBA was initiated because engineers with no management exper-
ience were inefficient supervisors. It is the lack of training, rather
than inherent inferiority which usually causes poor management.
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