Booth, William. "While Funding is High, Scientists' Morale Low," Albany Times Union, 15

 

Booth, William. "While Funding is High, Scientists' Morale Low," Albany Times Union, 15
September 1991, pp. B1, B2.

Here is the Times Union's publication of a piece by a Washington Post writer which harkens
back to the low morale of scientists at the present time. Leon Lederman's survey of 250
colleagues paradoxically reported that while there is absolutely more dollars available for
research, scientists do not "feel good" about their work. The actual dollar value available to
science has gone up in real terms but there is nonetheless some discontent.

One of the problems is the black eye science has gotten from some notorious cases of public
perception of science. There was the cold-fusion fiasco, the allegations of misconduct by Robert
Gallo and David Baltimore, and the many apparent cases of conflict of interest. Science is not
looking as good as it once did.

Scientists are complaining that the big money doled out to science goes to the science superstars
and not to the little guys in science.

Roland W. Schmitt, president at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is cited locally as "disturbed"
by these attitudes. As former chairman of the National Science Board at the NSF, he has
organized a study of the gloom and doomsayers in science and it to be held in October, 1991.

"Schmitt thinks there may be more equitable ways to spread the money around, especially if the
system gives more weight to teaching and training of new people and not to pure scientific
merit."