Saturday, May 17, 2014

"Systemic Flaws" in US Biomedical Research

There's an interesting article in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS; freely available here) that talks about some of the problems facing US biomedical research in academia.  It was written by some heavy hitters in the field of biology.  For anyone interested in the topic, it is very much worth reading.  Some of the comments are also pretty interesting.  

The authors lay out their reasoning for why "the biomedical research enterprise in the United States is on an unsustainable path."   It is hard to disagree with the observations they make about what is wrong with the system and the conclusions they draw about how these flaws are detrimental to attracting and retaining talent in biomedical research.  

However, like many of the other articles that get published this topic (see some of the references in this very article for a few examples), the best ideas that they present in the way of "solutions" are too broad to really be very useful, to say the least.  The bottom line is that within the research enterprise system, there are a lot of people scrambling for the small amount of dollars available in the pot, and one way or another, people in the current and future scientific pipeline are going to get hurt.  This article is a nice observation of how and why they are getting hurt, but there's not a lot of new ideas presented here, which is a little disappointing.       


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  2. Great ideas expressed here. Biomedical research nowadays indeed are facing some problems, we should try to solve this.

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