Peer Review: HISTORY

David J. States states at ibc.wustl.edu
Sun Jan 21 22:14:14 EST 1996


> berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA (Alexander Berezin) wrote on 18 Jan
> 1996 14:01:02 -0800:

> >My suggestion is that we should try to reduce science
> >back to a sensible size. Science has become a fashion
> >and a fad. It is "the thing" for an intelligent person
> >to take up. However, there are many more intelligent
> >persons than the world needs as scientists. For the
> >present that cannot be altered, but the future is still
> >open. My solution would be to drastically reduce the
> >number of scientists.  ... [material deleted]

and U27111 at uicvm.uic.edu replied:
> Yes... I agree (and have previously wrote about this very thought
[... several paragraphs deleted]
> I have also come to the conclusion that we just don't have the
> luxury of time for this suggestion to take effect and cause a
> gradual change in the community for the better.

> I know I am repeating myself... but I think that along with putting
> *truth* first in our conduct... we also have to consider the people
> factor.

> And if current projections prove accurate, that there will be 40
> million HIV+ people in this world by the year 2000 (and currently
> there are 20 million)?  Then we need to do something more drastic
> and immediate!

I might add global warming, drug resistant TB, resurgent illiteracy,
and several other problems to the list.

> We just don't have the time.

> I know my ideas are radical... but I honestly don't know what else
> to suggest - short of putting a policeman in every lab (which is
> clearly unacceptable)?

> And I've said it before, I'll say it again... if *we* fail to do
> something constructive about this current situation - it will
> eventually been decided by other's outside our community (possibly
> by the government?)?

> I don't know.

> -Kathy

Cutting back on the number of scientists trying to solve these
very real problems is, in my view, not the solution.  Acquiring 
the skills needed to appropriately check scientists in their work 
is essentially the same as being trained to be a scientist, and
the work of validating scientific findings is the essence of
science itself.  So it seems that we agree that the solution is 
adequately supporting more scientist really doing good science.

David



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