Mad Cows and Funding of Controvesials
berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Wed Apr 3 12:07:38 EST 1996
On Wed, 3 Apr 1996, Gavin Fischer wrote:
> BUT- you have to agree that if everyone thought
> he [ Pruisner - AB] was a crackpot he would not have
> <funding. The system does support people that are doing
> controversial things, and this is a very good example
> of it.
I am afraid that your conjecture that the 'system
does support people that are doing controversial
things' is not sustainable under any serious scrutiny.
And you may well change your opinion on this issue
should you decide stay in ('academic') research for
for any significant period (unless you will be
extermely lucky to make it quickly to the control
elite). For my 25-plus years in science my observation
is that support for controversial ideas happen only
as a matter of exception, and certainly not as a main
rule of the NSERC/NIH/MRC/... 'peer review' process.
(In short, SOME controversial research SOMETIME
[ luckily ] gets funded IN-SPITE of the system,
rather than because of it ].
For as long as the major principle of the system
('funding selectivity' and winners-loosers principle)
is not moderated by carefully desugned sliding scale,
the oppressive character of the present funding
system and marginalization of innovative ideas
is bound to continue.
[ discussin on Molecular Biology removed ]
> Gavin Fischer
> gfischer at med-med1.bu.edu
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