RESEARCH $$$: Reply to Alexander Berezin's reply

diane h. peapus diane at
Wed Jun 21 11:25:48 EST 1995

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

: On 16 Jun 1995, diane h. peapus wrote:
: > 
: > 	This question has become a flame of scientific philosophies,
: > when the congress only cares about balancing the budget.  Possibly 
: > there are areas which can be cut without touching research money?
: > 
: > 		diane h peapus
: > 
: -----------------------------------
: Dear Diane & others: 

: Of course, you can get perhaps some figures to this effect
: (very likely, they will be largely irrelevant and/or misleading
: anyway), but this will NOT address the MAIN problem. 

: The MAIN problem of the research funding is NOT the Congress
: (or the Parlament - as in Canada), and NOT the people like
: Gingrich but the RESEARCH COMMUNITY ITSELF which is internally
: divided by the permanent, fierce grantsmanship feuds among 
: its own members.

	The MAIN problem to us as scientists may be the philisophical
debate on grantsmanship, competition, fundablility, etc.  But the MAIN
problem to the Congress is balancing the budget.  The CONGRESS
has the authority to allocate funding.  We can only dicker over how
we divide what they give us.  If we dicker civilly and come to a
concensus over how our funding should be divided, the Congress is not
going to reward our behavior with more cash.  

	I'm not debating the grantsmanship "rules." 
I'm merely pointing out that there is practical side to this picture
that we may be neglecting in our philisophical debates.

	There are private foundations who put a cap on overhead.
Some allow as little as 10% to overhead.  I question whether we would
be better served with Congressional mandate that more of the money
go to research.  This sort of squeeze would force administrations
to cut back without our ever having to debate anything!  It would
allow Congress to take a part of their proposed cut, and would never
touch a dime of research money.

: It is, of course, easier (and customary) to blame others
: (this time - Congress, greedy politicians, etc) than to 
: try to clean your own house first 
	But aren't our own houses filled with paper-pushers who
sit half the day doing crossword puzzles and playing solitaire on
their PC's?
	Is your institution unique in that you dont' have those
individuals who have forgotten that the university is there for
education and who think that it's there merely to provide them 
with a paper-pushing job?

	I think that we in academia like to debate philosophies
to the exclusion of the nuts-and-bolts of implimentation.

	diane h peapus	

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