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Government Medicine Stats The Almighty Buck Science

Up To 1000 NIH Investigators Dropped Out Last Year 111

sciencehabit writes "New data show that after remaining more or less steady for a decade, the number of investigators with National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding dropped sharply last year by at least 500 researchers and as many as 1000. Although not a big surprise—it came the same year that NIH's budget took a 5% cut—the decline suggests that a long-anticipated contraction in the number of labs supported by NIH may have finally begun."
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Up To 1000 NIH Investigators Dropped Out Last Year

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  • by nbauman ( 624611 ) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @07:27PM (#46441971) Homepage Journal

    Now that the anti-tax movement has won, we can look forward to the destruction of the greatest source of innovation the U.S. -- and the world -- has ever seen.

    Get ready for the visionaries who tell us that the source of American innovation is guys working in garages, and all we have to do is lower taxes on garages to unleash the flow of productivity.

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09, 2014 @07:50PM (#46442069)

    I want fewer incompetent researchers churning out bullshit papers, and more practicing doctors instead.

    And where do you think practicing doctors get their knowledge? That's assuming they keep up with current research, of course.

    The thing that makes me cringe is when I hear from physicians, "well, in my experience..." On occasion, they happen to be right and other times, well ....

    Physicians are human and are subject to the same bias and irrational thinking as the rest of us. Nothing can replace a well designed study where the results can be reproduced.

    And the nice thing about the NIH, they fund studies that have no commercial value (at least in the short term) that add to our knowledge.

    Some "stupid" study may reveal something that can be used later or spur someone with an idea of their own.

    This mentality of focusing on short term ROI has destroyed our innovation in the US. The last really innovative thing that came out of this country was the Internet and the roots for that were laid down in the 70s.

    It's really sad.

  • by PastTense ( 150947 ) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @07:52PM (#46442081)

    "Dropped Out" implies it was the decision of the researchers to quit.

    Instead it was the decision of the NIH to quit funding them.

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @08:00PM (#46442109) Homepage Journal

    The GDP is doing just fine as usual. If the people who actually did all the work got to see those gains, we might get somewhere.

  • by nbauman ( 624611 ) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @09:01PM (#46442383) Homepage Journal

    "Entitlements" are things that people are entitled to.

    If I spend 40 years working and putting a big chunk of my income into Social Security and Medicare because the deal was that I'll get it when I'm 65, I think I'm entitled to get it when I'm 65.

  • by meglon ( 1001833 ) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @09:28PM (#46442507)
    ....if you ignore the fucking idiot teabaggers in the House; and, quite frankly, you'd have to be an idiot teabagger to do that. Why do conservatives lie all the time?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09, 2014 @11:34PM (#46442981)

    Not all of these labs will close, but there will certainly be a lot less capacity to take students and post docs.

    Fewer people will even make it that far when a line of research and certain fields get know to be shrinking. Current grad students, postdocs and young researchers will warn incoming people that things are getting harder and to go try other fields of research or lines of work. It is not like we lose the bottom part of the distribution and the best and brightest continue to do research, but people across the board get dissatisfied or view it as too risky and jump ship. I've watched friends and colleagues fed up from political roller coasters in their own field, and end up going into other work, anywhere from generic software development, to Wall St. to occasionally science or engineering industry work related to what they actually specialized in.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford