Science: Funding and Morals
U27111 at uicvm.uic.edu
U27111 at uicvm.uic.edu
Tue Jan 23 02:29:06 EST 1996
On Mon, 22 Jan 1996 12:58:14 -0500 (EST), Alexander Berezin
<berezin at mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CA> wrote:
>> Agreed! Change the system to pick out the right
>> (*the* best).
>Here we have to be very careful. In thinking how
>to select the 'best' it is much too easy to overplay
>the selectivity card. The system does exactly this
>and as a result those chosen are the most cunny,
>not the most creative.
>The ONLY solution I can think of is:
>(1) Open all the books. No to ANY anonymity. The
>whole process should be not only TECHNICALLY
>publicly open, but PRACTICALLY made so (i.e. to
>find the TOTAL funding of professor XYZ should be
>as easy as look in the phone directory).
>(2) Make more equailabe funding system, DECREASE
>(not increase) the total budget and bring more
>people in a system at a lower funding level.
>Don't worry, the research will NOT collapse,
>but will become MORE responsible, creative
>and though-troough. People will start think
>hard WHAT they can DO with AVAILABLE (let tight),
>rather than thinking HOW TO GET EVEN MORE OF
>THEM (dollars, pounds, etc).
> We already discussed funding capping (TOTAL
>capping) and in spite of all pro and cons I still
>believe this is a very good first step, especially
>in combibation with (1) above.
I'm also beginning to think we need to really do something about
this hiring someone because they are of the same race/religion (or
giving grants based upon this criteria as well)? This does not
assure the *best* people are in the best position to do the *best*
work.... when you are solely selecting based upon similar ethnic
backgrounds instead of best qualified.
Which is something I've only previously hit upon in here... but
sort've forgot about it until it just hit me square in the jaw
again this weekend.
I've seen 'good' people doing 'good' science lose internal grants
because of this problem... I've seen departments/PIs who only hire
people of similar race/religion (to the point they fly them in from
their home countries)... and I've previously been turned down on a
position because I was not of the same ethnic culture as the PI
(but at least the guy had the guts to say it to my face?)... and I
also lived in Salt Lake City for a while, many years ago, where at
every single job interview (in biotechnology as well as others)
they asked my if I was Mormon or not - and eventually I got a job
(after many months) from a non-Mormon who specifically did not want
a Mormon working for him! Oh well.
And now, here again, many years later, I think I might have just
run across more discrimination yet again? I'm waiting to find out
if my suspicions prove true or not... ie., I'm still looking into
In the meantime, I think, overall, this nonsense needs to be cut
out as well!
>> We need better education of our students... and that's where
>> teaching ethics, and having *good* morale leaders, is at least
>> a start.
>Dear Kathy, do you really believe that in a country where the
>'certified' moral teachers are Swaggerts and Backers you can
>achieve a lot by moral lessoning ?
Well... when put that way - NO!
>Given a choice beteen becoming next Bill Gates or a future Nobel
>Prize laureate how many youths you think will choose the second
I don't know? A lot of youths here still think Gallo discovered
the AIDS virus all by himself... and are still waiting for him to
win the Nobel for it. The text books are still out of date and
haven't caught up yet. Hell, many adult lay people also think this.
And on that note, I think I'm beginning to get tired of all this.
I'm beginning to run out of steam here (have been for a while
actually). Each day it just feels more and more futile... nothing
is ever going to change - it's only going to get a lot worst before
one day it 'may' get better?
I don't know... it has all just caught up with me - it's very all
so very depressing to think and write about anymore.
I think I've had enough of it for a while. It's time to
concentrate back on my own life... get things moving for me - find
a better job, make a little bit more money, get out of debt and
decide my new career and direction in life.
All this stuff, for the most part, has been venting for me... which
was good. But now it's to the point I'm just re-living and getting
angry over the past again. Which is not so good.
Time to move on.
I wish you guys luck and hope one day some of our ideas we have all
contributed to in here actually gets utilized somehow?
And if you still have it in you... keep dreaming your dreams and
hold on to whatever remaining idealisms you may have left.
I think mine has all come to an end, personally. Not much left in
me to give to this field anymore. The well is now empty.
Thank you Alex and Bill for most enjoyable debating and sharing of
ideas to help keep the well fill for as long as it did.
And thank you to the few others who jumped in now and then to share
your views and thoughts... sorry more people didn't though?
Anyway, take care, and maybe I'll see you guys later down the road
And try to stay away from name calling when the debates get hot and
Try and play nice together. :)
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