Abelson, Philip H. "Research Funding," Science 252 (3 May 1991), p. 625.

 

Abelson, Philip H. "Research Funding," Science 252 (3 May 1991), p. 625.

This editorial suggests that changes in government funding are coming as a result of several
important factors: 1) the huge deficit; 2) state governments are after research funds; 3) science
produces jobs is a hypothesis no longer believed; 4) politicians are convinced that scientists can't
set priorities for needed research; 5) the integrity of research universities have come into
question; 6) the fiscal integrity of research universities has come under question; 7) there have
been instances of scientific misbehavior which have come to the attention of the public; and 8)
"events involving David Baltimore were damaging."

NB: items 5-8 are items of concern to the SCIFRAUD community and items which, just a few
short years ago, would hardly have been considered as meriting attention by the science
community.

Abelson also notes that there is a very great disparity in the way government distributes research
funds: "...5 states with 10 senators obtain more than 50% of the R&D funds, whereas 15 states
with 30 senators receive less than 2%."

"At this time it is too early to form a realistic estimate of the effects of lack of trust engendered
by the widely reported events involving Stanford University. The financial conduct of other
universities will surely be subject to detailed examination, and further small but inexcusable
irregularities probably will be spot lighted. Additional instances of scientific misbehavior will
probably be identified. Scientific and university administrators generally must proceed
vigorously in ensuring integrity of their operations if permanent damage is to be minimized."