Partisan Attacks on Research

November 25, 2008

Congressmen serving on committees dealing with aspects of research…are often well disposed toward support of scientific research…they cannot afford…to become vulnerable. They must take into account tides of public opinion.
As a partisan document, the article is a triumph. Research is confused with development..downgraded by citation of examples likely to seem ridiculous to the reader and by skillful choice of guilt-connoting words–such phrases as …”sprawling research program”…”lucrative contracts”….”getting fat at the public trough”.

and it just gets worse…

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In a recent post on 49 percent, Samia asks a tricky question:

Wouldn’t it be easier to land a faculty position/eventual tenure if I operated like a state scientist and established myself as an expert in one teeny, tiny area? How do minority (racial, gender, any kind) PI’s fare under the “nomad” path? Why do I cringe inwardly when my advisors tell me I need to specify my interests? I feel like if I do that, I’ll be limiting my opportunities in the future. Am I crazy? Tell me I’m not crazy.

You are not crazy. Unfortunately some aspects of the system are crazy and it would be best to recognize this.

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