What do you think? Do you ever click on the blogroll anymore? Is this useful to any of you?

I am sure Dr. McKnight realizes that when he asserts that “Biomedical research in the 1960s and 1970s was a spartan game” and “Biomedical research is a huge enterprise now; it attracts riff-raff who never would have survived as scientists in the 1960s and 1970s” he is in fact lauding the very scientists “When I joined the molecular cytology study section in the 1980s.. all kinds of superb scientists” who were the riff-raff the prior generation complained about.

From a very prestigious general Science journal in 1962:

Some of [this change] arises from expressions of concern within the scientific community itself over whether the NIH’s rapid growth has sacrificed quality to achieve quantity.

The astute reader will also pick up on another familiar theme we are currently discussing.

And some of it reflects nothing more than the know-nothing ramblings of scientific illiterates, who conclude that if the title of a research project is not readily comprehensible to them, some effort to swindle the government must be involved.

1962, people. 1962.
Greenberg DS. NIH Grants: Policies Revised, but Critics Not Likely To Turn Away. Science. 1962 Dec 28;138(3548):1379-80.

This passage appeared in a highly prestigious journal of science.

“Important elements in both Senate and the House are showing increasing dissatisfaction over Congress’s decade-long honeymoon with medical research….critics are dissatisfied…with the NIH’s procedures for supervising the use of money by its research grantees….NIH officials..argued, rather, that the most productive method in financing research is to pick good people with good projects and let them carry out their work without encumbering them…its growth has been phenomenal….[NIH director}: nor do we believe that most scientific groups in the country have an asking and a selling price for their product which is research activity…we get a realistic appraisal of what they need to do the job..the supervisory function properly belongs to the universities and other institutions where the research takes place….closing remarks of the report are:…Congress has been overzealous in appropriating money for health research”.

Read the rest of this entry »