Dangerous Central Planners Coming to 'Rescue' US Biomedical Research

Four fools enamored with central planning (Bruce Alberts, Marc W. Kirschner, Shirley Tilghman, and Harold Varmus) wrote an article in PNAS titled -

Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws

The abstract ends with -

Instead, it is time to confront the dangers at hand and rethink some fundamental features of the US biomedical research ecosystem.

After reading the above line, we were elated with joy and thought they were going to recommend shutting down the central planning agencies. Sadly, we were wrong, wrong and wrong. The article is full of half truths (e.g. never mentions waste due to war), plans on how fix the damages done by central planning as well as plans to develop even more plans. To spare you from reading, here is a comprehensive summary of the entire article -

We recommend that the US government develop a plan to revise these practices gradually over the next decade while providing a discrete timetable.

Next decade? Exactly one commentary from our blog is needed to show how out of touch those planners are, and it is linked below. As we mentioned, the forecast by Harvard professor is on the optimistic side.

Harvard Professor Predicts up to Half of US Universities May Fail in 15 Years


Whenever we criticize the planners, some others ask what we would do to ‘fix’ the problem, as if we are dying to be another group of central planning fools. Yes, we do have a plan too and here it is. US government should shut down all science funding agencies immediately and make a very public announcement about it. That will have two salubrious effects -

(i) People will have more money in their pockets and they will support science through other less wasteful channels not involving central planners.

(ii) People will see that the only remaining role of government is to waste massive amounts of money to fight wars in countries they cannot find in map. That will hopefully start a clamor for reining in the military, which will lead to more money in the pockets of people, and thus more money for science through (i).

If you are shaking your head in disbelief, we recommend the following articles and videos to fully appreciate the harm to science caused by central planning.

PFS 2010 - Terence Kealey, Science is a Private Good - Or: Why Government Science is Wasteful from Sean Gabb on Vimeo.

DORA Pledge YASI from Government-funded Scientists

Government is the Mother of All Invention

Henry R Bourne: A Fair Deal for PhD Students and Postdocs

US Science Funding Proposal for a Better Alternative

US Science Funding Proposal for a Better Alternative (Part II)

Do not forget to check our new membership site with a lot more information on bioinformatics.

Written by M. //