A recent discussion thread moved into the topic of proper/improper expenditures under NIH grant awards. Our beloved commenter Uncle Sol Rivlin observed that

The bigger the money the more daring and crooked are the crooks. Science absolutely does not prevent the crooks from acting crookedly.

No, it doesn’t. But there isn’t a whole lot of money to be made for the majority of us in science. And I think what trends over into a sensationalistic focus on cases of severe malfeasance gives a distorted perception of how the vast majority of scientists operate in their daily lives. I just don’t think that being focused on strategies for keeping the grant money flowing to keep your 5 person lab afloat is the same think as taking hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in consulting gigs to BigPharma. Obviously some would disagree.
Thinking on the money issue, however, brought me back to one of my favorite things to ponder, i.e., how the taxpaying public views my career.

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