Eyes on the Prize

Bert Gold bgold at itsa.ucsf.edu
Thu Jun 6 14:18:36 EST 1996


NIH has just announced its plans for a MAJOR OVERHAUL of the RESEARCH
Grant allocation system.

Kieth Yamamoto, here at UCSF, is already objecting and has apparently
drafted his own plan.

In the next several days you will view a petition which I have drafted
and which I would like your help in circulating.

It will provide for a plan which is BETTER and more RELIABLE at
LEVELING the playing field than either Keith or NIH has yet proposed.

I have spoken with literally hundreds of scientists over the past two
years about this issue.  Many of the most prominent have confided to
me that the current system is unfair, unworkable and unreasonable but
have told me that 'human nature' prevents a change for the better.
Nonetheless, many have shared their very best suggestions and thoughts
with me. I doubt, however, that I have heard every possible salutary
suggestion for changing the current system...  

Therefore, I would like to invite you
to send me your very wisest thoughts about how we can change the system
for the allocation of research funds in the US so that our children can
again begin to prosper from the intellectual harvest of plenty of our

We are an intellectually rich country, but we have not in the past
few years been acting the part.

Vannevar Bush was not wrong in saying that research is an 'endless
frontier'.  It is... But the leaders of science (and public policy)
have apparently forgotten this truth.

We are human, and so we have many frailties, but the system can indeed
be changed for the better!

I am convinced that our children can live in a world better than our own.

I need your help and support in this endeavor; there are many
self-interested forces who will oppose me (and us), but 
making a good future for ourselves and our families is
worth a concerted effort now.

Keep your eyes on the prize.

 Bert Gold, Ph.D.                         "Seeing much, Suffering much,
 University of California, San Francisco   and studying much,
 School of Medicine                        These are the three pillars
 Program in Medical Genetics               of learning." -- Benjamin Disraeli

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