Funding Inequities

Your story in the December 12 issue of The Scientist concerning NIH funding had the title, “The Rich Get Richer” (page 19). So what’s new? Many of us interacting with the system have known of the institutionalized inequity of the system for years. The reason why these institutions have monopolized the bulk of NIH dollars is because they have seeded the study sections with their own people and friends. The cruel joke is that many people inside the exclusive club, including NIH bureaucrats, have the audacity to labelthis socalled “peer review” as fair and equitable.

John Lein’s [vice president for health sciences at the University of Washington] statements reinforce the altitude of long-standing intellectual arrogance among the “club” by the rather outrageous assumption that most of the nation’s’ excellence and biological-brain-power is concentrated in only, 10 institutions. This is sheer nonsense.

I disagree with Lein’s argument that for...

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