Integrative Molecular Phenotyping
INTEGRATIVE MOLECULAR
PHENOTYPING
WHEELOCK LABORATORY
DEPARTMENT OF MEDICAL
BIOCHEMISTRY AND BIOPHYSICS
WHEELOCK LABORATORY
DEPARTMENT OF MEDICAL
BIOCHEMISTRY AND BIOPHYSICS
WHEELOCK LABORATORY
DEPARTMENT OF MEDICAL
BIOCHEMISTRY AND BIOPHYSICS
WHEELOCK LABORATORY
DEPARTMENT OF MEDICAL
BIOCHEMISTRY AND BIOPHYSICS
WHEELOCK LABORATORY
DEPARTMENT OF MEDICAL
BIOCHEMISTRY AND BIOPHYSICS
WHEELOCK LABORATORY

Blog Category Funding

Should taxpayers cover the light bills at university labs?

As the assualt on academic science continues, the question of indirect costs or overhead has been tossed into this toxic mix.  It seems to be a standard case of people (in this case anti-science politicians) not wanting to pay the full bill for the product they are buying.  I would turn this debate around and ask the question why certain charities and non-profits are excused from paying full overhead costs.  No matter how you slice it, most scientific research is expensive - and requires significant infrastructure. All of these components cannot be written into the costs of every grant. This includes costs for everything from lightbulbs and -80C freezers to rent for the lab space. Who should pay these costs?  I think that we can all agree that they should not be fiannced through tuition increases.  So what is left?  Either government (i.e., taxpayer) basic funding to universities has to increase - or the costs have to be covered in a research grant. If the budget is just "cut" to eliminate this "waste", then we will see a significant decrease in academic research - but also a decrease in student financial aid and a large number of other university programs as the basic fabric that enables a university function is slowly chipped away. 

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funding

Real Lives and White Lies in the Funding of Scientific Research

‘‘Scientists might have had a Hippocratic oath of their own. They might have promised their gifts to mankind. But instead, I have fathered a race of inventive dwarfs who can be hired for anything.’’— Bertolt Brecht ‘‘The Life of Galileo,’’ version by David Hare 

 

Yet another piece on the broken nature of the academic funding system (link).  I have always failed to understand the paradigm of academic science. Extensive resources and many years are spent training an individual to be a researcher - after which they are thrust into a work environment that prevents them from actually performing research. Instead they are forced to spend increasing amounts of time and effort chasing funding to keep the lab functioning.  Often as I sit in my office late at night working on yet another grant application, I look around the university and see the legions of administration workers - the majority of whom have permanent postions and higher pay than anything that I can aspire to as an academic. What kind of system fails to either reward or even utilize its most highly trained individuals?  It all feels like an immense ponzi scheme that consumes the bright young minds that dream of a career in science.

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funding

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