real science, science, genomes etc.

David Kristofferson kristoff at genbank.bio.net
Mon Feb 11 13:29:19 EST 1991


A couple of quick points and then its back to the grind ... (actually
I am taking a vacation day today ... what am I doing logged in here
from home 8-)!

Keith, I would be elated to hear that the attitudes I described
towards industry were being turned around.  The experience I described
dates back from 1986 and earlier, so it would be great if the tide has
started turning in the last five years.

Regarding the "Genome Boondoggle", although I have seen arguments on
both sides, it is still not clear to me that the funding for the
Genome Project is coming at the expense of R01 grants, and the people
I know at the NIH vigorously deny this.  I think it is more likely
that Congress sees potential commercial payoffs and "enhanced U.S.
competitiveness" in the Genome Project and is thus looking to add
funds that would not have been available to pure research anyway.
However, I would not be surprised that if overall federal money is
tight, some impact might be felt on R01's ... I haven't carefully
researched all sides of this issue.  

I would suggest the possibly controversial position that people like
Dr.  Ellington might actually want to encourage this project!  I never
suggested that he personally get involved with cataloguing genes, but
I think passions have flared up a bit (Peace 8-), and he might have
taken it this way.  Instead, budding academicians might find that the
Genome Project creates sufficient industrial opportunities to siphon
off a lot of their competition!!  Thus the end result, surprisingly,
might be less competition for pure research funds and more private
sector jobs.  This might make everyone better off!  Hmm .... can such
optimistic scenarios really occur, Pollyanna??  We have become so
accustomed to always envisioning the worst possible outcomes that
sometimes we forget how to hope.

Dave Kristofferson



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