TRUTH about US R&D SPENDING from BRITISH NATURE

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Mon Apr 22 09:25:14 EST 1996



On 21 Apr 1996, Herman Rubin wrote:

> 
> We need to RESTORE the private funding of research.  Research universities
> used to, and still do, spend a significant portion of their budget on
> research.  But now a large part of the money designated as "research" 
> goes to bean counters, and another large part is involved in the writing
> of grant proposals.  Grantsmanship and secrecy have replaced the research
> atmosphere.  NIH could defund an area of research on the grounds that they
> do not consider it promising, or even without any reason.

At least we are on a way to identify the source of
the problem: grantsmaship and peer review expertocracy.
Unless and until these are put under independent 
control (even by the 'bureaucracy') the system can't
and will not be fixed. 

 Get rid of proposals-based science, secretive 
peer review and fund researchers, not proposas.
We need to fund MORE people on a more equitable
basis meaning SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER levels per
researcher. Sorry, but high fundees need to 
learn how to do with (MUCH) less. 

Introduce funding caps for the total per researcher.
I think, $ 200,000 per prof per year is a very
generous cap in ANY area (those who need more must 
cooperate with others).  

> I see no question with this.  We have ONE overwhelming funding source;
> the government.  I do not think that you will quarrel with this.  To 
> keep research going, this means that we have to convince a majority of
> the electorate that the funding of this should take precedence over other
> uses for the same money.

And you won't 'convince' anyone (especialy the 'majority
of electorate) for as long as the system remains publicly 
unaccountable secretive grantsmanship. What people REALLY
see is a corporate, greedy, self-serving system which
resisists openness at all levels. Why people should trust 
such system at first place ?

Alex Berezin 



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