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« She Said, "Yes." | Main | Faith in Science »

June 28, 2009

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Doug

Seems like the grant awarders are afraid to fail. In science and engineering, failure is an important part of success. Perhaps the people making the funding decisions have forgotten that?

Wendy S. Harpham, M.D.

Really good comment, Doug. It has to make one wonder this: What drives the decision-makers in the grant-granting process?

Maybe one of the physician-bloggers who reads this blog can help enlighten us.

With hope, Wendy

Felicity Lenes

Basic science research does tend to be evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, but as our fund of knowledge increases, so does our understanding of the mechanisms of both health and disease. Because incremental improvements don't pay off commercially most of the time, but still are important steps to potential breakthroughs, the NSF and NIH (most notably) fund those endeavors. Although I agree that grant-giving is an imperfect and bewildering process, government agencies do enlist respected experts in various fields to make decisions about which proposals show the most promise.

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