Uh, Oh!

January 27, 2009

I just received the following e-mail from one of my scientific societies:

Back $10 Billion for NIH in Economic Recovery
Contact Your Senators Immediately
Take action now to support $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Senator Arlen Specter will introduce an amendment tomorrow when the Appropriations Committee considers the bill. The current version includes $3.5 billion for NIH, and the amendment would add $6.5 billion bringing the total to $10 billion.
Contact your senators immediately and urge them to be a champion for NIH. Go to:
http://capwiz.com/ram/utr/1/CGMHJQUAUE/HEAVJQVCYU/2828380471. It is particularly important for you to speak out if your senator is on the Appropriations Committee, listed below.

Jesus fucking christ! Have we learned nothing from the effects of the five-year doubling of the NIH budget!?!?!? Increasing the budget by about 1/3 in one fucking year!?!?!?
And let’s be very, very clear. To the extent that we are pumping a huge bolus of money into the NIH budget over a short period of time, the vast majority of this money *must* go towards increasing the budgets of already awarded grants that have been slashed upon initial award, and then bled a little more with each non-competing renewal.
That is the only way to have the money contribute to long-term strength of the biomedical research enterprise. While the political pressure to use the vast majority of the money to dramatically expand paylines will be intense, doing so will only create another fucking “bubble”–just like the overly rapid doubling–with equally adverse long-term consequences.