Researchers with loads of grants insist that we should give them more

BETHESDA.  A bunch of rich, well-funded scientists, led by Ron “Jermaine” Jackson, have insisted that the best way to do science is simply to keep giving them money, and to hell with everyone else.

Called “fund people not projects”, the proposal aims to channel funds towards people with a track record of success, i.e. well funded, old professors who are now too arrogant to be bothered with concepts such as accountability and succession.

“Just look at me” said Ron.  “Look. At. Me.  My track record is incredible, because, well I’m awesome.  So why not just give me more money to be more awesome?  Don’t bother with stupid stuff like ideas or plans or proposals or risk management or any crap like that – they’re a waste of time and money.  Just show me the money, baby.  SHOW ME THE MONEY!” he finished.

Likely to be the final nail in the coffin of the careers of all young scientists, who by their very definition have no track record, the proposal has come under attack from pretty much everyone who isn’t an old, tenured professor with millions of dollars of funding already.  Despite this, the proposal is likely to go ahead because, well, the old bastards are in control, aren’t they?

Rick Spatson, from the University of Edinburgh, had a different view: “Maybe, just maybe, the solution to all of the problems in scientific research isn’t to give all the money to the people who fcuked it up in the first place.  Maybe we should give less money to the old idiots who screwed it all up and left the next generation with a cesspit of irreproducible research published in closed-access glamour mags.  Maybe we should instead invest in the young, the next-generation of idealistic, open scientists.  What do you think?  Do you think that’s maybe a better idea?”

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2 Responses to Researchers with loads of grants insist that we should give them more

  1. There is an interesting version of the “fund people not projects” idea specifically designed to help new researchers fare better at getting funding. The current status quo is pretty horrible.
    http://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674%2815%2900642-X
    At least, it is interesting ideas. We could also implement it ‘part-way’ by shifting a lot more funding to new investigator fellowships and maybe even block-granting those fellowships to institutions/universities for them to distribute among researchers.

  2. Pingback: Links 7/5/15 | Mike the Mad Biologist

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