Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Sun Jun 23 13:11:15 EST 1996

On 23 Jun 1996, Sean Eddy wrote:

> In article <Pine.A32.3.93.960623064754.12971A-100000 at> Bert Gold <bgold at> writes:
>   >In nine years, the complete DNA sequence
>   >of the human genome will be known.
>   >...
>   >In nine years, if not before then, the Republicans will begin to 
>   >return the money used to fund NIH to the states.
> If you're trying to imply that NIH's primary mission is to sequence
> the human genome, you're seriously mistaken. 
> NIH budget, FY '96: about $12 billion. NIH-funded human genome
> research (i.e., the NCHGR budget): about $170 million. Of that $170M,
> NCHGR-funded large scale human genome sequencing amounts to about
> $60M. 

Regardless of what proportion of NIH goes on genome 
sequencing, you can't get away from the fact that in
the present overcompetitive system driven by the pressure
to publish as much as possible of the so called 'peer 
reviewed' papers [ in reality, peer review guaranties 
nothing of the real quality and/or importance] about 
90 % of all what is done/ funded/published is redundant, 
trivial and is obsolete by the day it is published. 
Taking the REAL usefulness of what is done by NIH
sponsored research $ 12 billion per year is an
outrageous amount for ca. 30,000 eligible researchers.
[ ca. $ 400,000 per rearcher annual average, while the
average of $ 100,000 is pretty suffieceint; researchers
must work themselves instead of sub-hiring cheap 
research labor, as the system does now ].

Because there is too much money in the system
(system is grossly OVERfunded), researchers are mostly 
busy with grantsmanship rather than with discovering.
Because in this system the more grant money scietists 
grabs, the more prestige goes to him. What s/he has
actaully discovered (if at all) is largely irrelevant.

As a result, the $-yield of research is quite low 
(same is true of course for other key funding agencies 
in Canada and USA).

> -- 
> - Sean Eddy
> - Dept. of Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine
> - 660 S. Euclid Box 8232, St. Louis MO 63110, USA 
> - mailto://

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