Funding: Alex's NY message

U27111 at U27111 at
Thu Jan 4 02:12:33 EST 1996

robison at (Keith Robison) wrote on 3 Jan 1996
20:02:38 GMT:

>Putting a man on the moon is comparatively simple in relation
>to complex health problems such as cancer and AIDS.  You have
>a few well-defined systems which must be built, straightforward
>physics, etc.  In contrast, both AIDS and cancer can be
>described (to a first approximation) as malfunctions of
>a poorly understood highly complex machine.

It's only complex because we have too many self-interested
researcher's pushing *their* paradigms down our throats and
political 'conclusions' of what must be true overshadowing
the real 'truths'.

This makes the pools of scientific knowledge very muddy indeed...
and a somewhat 'complex machine' *appears* more complex then it
probably really is.  ???

>: For if we could get a man to walk on the moon in such a short
>: period of time... why is it 15 years into this pandemic and we
>: still have little to nothing to show for it?

>Hardly little-to-nothing.


>In particular, a significant cause of the spread of AIDS was
>quickly identified (the blood supply) and dealt with.

??? Really ???

Is this what you were taught?

There were no politics involved, no egos and especially no greed?

What a wonderful view you must have wearing your rose-colored
glasses way up there in your ivory tower?

>AIDS also illustrates that medical solutions are not all that we
>must consider: the transmission mechanisms of AIDS are relatively
>well understood, and it is now a matter of politics and sociology
>in dealing with them (the latter of which the moon program was
>quite devoid of -- another reason it got done).

And we can quietly ignore how some medical solutions are only to
make patent holders more richer and those who are HIV+ die
sooner... or suffer more greatly?

I'm sorry... but you have just hit on a very *hot* subject here.
For not only has 15 years of AIDS research have little to nothing
to show for itself... it has put the pursuit of politics, greed and
egos to a whole new level within the scientific community!

>: Research techs and phd's need to become certified in their
>: respected specialties and labs should become accredited.

>How do you certify someone in scientific research?

The way I see it, we already have plenty of societies which already
exists out there (like the tissue culture association for example)
which already offers seminars and courses... and all we have to do
is make these societies responsible for 'certifying' research techs
in that particular discipline.

If we make these societies and associations responsible for giving
out accreditation and certifications to various research
labs\personal.. and only allow grants submitted which have
certified personal or accredited labs able to receive monies.  Then
most labs would HAVE to learn the proper ways of doing these highly
specific tests within the proper research environment and use of
the scientific process.   And all this would then lead to more
accurate and valid data being produced and well as
increase in attendance to the various meetings and seminars.

>If I am using a technique which was invented 3 months ago, how
>am I to be certified in it?

I think PCR may be a good example here.

Back in 1987-1988 it was still a relatively new technique... IF we
were under my present idea and lab personal were certified and labs
accredited *at that time*... then personal would *have* to attend
at least two seminars/courses per year for that lab to keep it's
accreditation (just like we already have in clinical labs).

Thus, they could learn what is going on in the development/use of
this technique and let's say by 1993... as PCR becomes a *hot*
technique and widely used... it can then become a newly certified

>Certification is a good idea for fields where _the_ answer
>is expected reliably (forensics, clinical settings); it is
>entirely inappropriate in an experimental field.

Thus you are saying experimental research does not have to be a
highly reliable field?

It's ok for people who run HPLCs to use standard control data from
2-3 months prior (instead of a new set with each new set of

It's ok for people to *make* standards for controls using ddH2O
(because the curve tends to come out better?)... while using in-
house DI water for the sample solutions in the same run?

And one of my personal favorites... its ok to pH balance homemade
physiological buffer solutions?

Pleasseee........... after all the discussion which have gone on in
this group... don't drop down to the "it's only research" mentality
- it's really unbecoming.


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