My fellow Americans, weep for our science!

HereIbe

My fellow Americans, weep for our science!

Imagine if you were a contractor (NO, not a builder, but anyone who works "on contract" rather than being a salaried or wage employee). Okay, now imagine that, when you submit bids to a customer, the customer is not the person who decides who gets the contract. Instead, the customer calls on your COMPETITORS to decide who gets the contract, AND the competitors all get to know who is behind each bid. Oh, and there is no certification or oversight of the process, either. The competitors do not even have to read the bids. If you think you were rejected unfairly, you get to appeal, and it's the competitors who consider your appeal.

That is how most medical and scientific research in the USA is funded, and it is how it's been funded for about 80 years.

Of course, we could just eliminate all public funding of research, problem solved? Nope, because private funding entities pretty much do the same thing. They tap the same pool of applicants to do proposal evaluations.

My fellow Americans, weep for our science!
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Most Helpful Girl

  • MlleCake
    Peer review is the norm the world over, because when the goal is to increase human understanding, scientists see themselves as collective team-mates, not competitors.
    Is this still revelant?
    • HereIbe

      And your view of scientists comes from actually BEING A SCIENTIST, right? My view comes from WITHIN the field. Yours?

    • MlleCake

      I have been working with the scientific community in various capacities as a science writer, statistician and data analyst for decades.

      It's not a perfect system, but what do you propose instead?

    • HereIbe

      First, to get enough people pissed off at the current system so there will be some stir made. The problem must first be defined and studied. It is unscientific in the extreme to start throwing medications at people before you have even bothered to properly define the disease--oh, wait! That's how things have been done for a long time! And look at all the failed medications. Hell's bells, we still don't have a proper definition for Alzheimer's disease, and look at how much money is spent on AD medications that offer nothing more than short-term palliative care without halting or even long-term slowing progression of the disorder.

      So, first, the disorder must be defined.

Most Helpful Guy

  • HungLikeAHorsefly
    I don't really follow your analogy. How does this describe funding for scientific research?
    Is this still revelant?
    • HereIbe

      How many NIH, NSF, etc. grants have you been part of the process for? It is a VERY ACCURATE description of how funding is decided upon, from an inside perspective.

    • About two dozen NSF grants, half a dozen DOD and DOE grants, plus private funding. How about you?

    • I'm not contesting your description per se - I just don't understand the analogy. How do competitors decide who gets the contract?

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What Girls & Guys Said

32
  • itsmeamy
    It just sounds so unfair I think the most qualified person should get the contract cause its no good if the cheapest contractor get the job and dose it wrong
  • Wowgirl30q
    That's how a contract bid works. I'm not being sarcastic this is the only way I've ever known of it to work. My ex-husband had contracts with the state. This is normal I thought
    • HereIbe

      So, therefore, if everyone practiced slavery, that would mean slavery was okay. That's what your statement boils down to.

      WHY does it work that way? MUST it work that way? The fact that it "works that way" means what? There is no better possible way? There are no flaws with the current way of doing things?

      What makes the status quo the best possible way to do something?

    • Wowgirl30q

      I didn't say it was right or wrong I said...
      "this is a normal contract bid to the best of my knowledge." I didn't understand the point you were making considering this is the only way I'd ever heard of.

    • Wowgirl30q

      COMPETITORS you let get you the job by running their mouths.. We didn't even get on the BBB/able to bid on a state or federal funded project for over a decade. This is all normal business politics.

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  • NerdInDenial
    This strategy also occurs in the military. There are some advantages, and also many disadvantages.
  • PrincessGrail
    Never thought of it that way
  • Fuentes
    Shut up
    • HereIbe

      Shut me up, loser.

    • Fuentes

      ☝ Gays boy's be like

    • HereIbe

      I get it, you're a sad little incel who can't get anything, so you tell people much smarter than you to "shut up", then you make homophobic commentary.

    • Show All
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