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Letter: NIH Research Grants

I was amused, but also offended, by comments of those opposed to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences plan to protect small laboratories in "NIH Institute's Plan Will Favor Researchers Dependent On Single Grants" (The Scientist, April 16, 1990, page 1). Particularly objectionable was B.R. Brinkley's assertion that science is driven by the "entrepreneurial spirit." Funny, I always thought it was intellectual curiosity. Is Brinkley urging scientists to emulate the values of Drexel B

Stephen Labonne

I was amused, but also offended, by comments of those opposed to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences plan to protect small laboratories in "NIH Institute's Plan Will Favor Researchers Dependent On Single Grants" (The Scientist, April 16, 1990, page 1). Particularly objectionable was B.R. Brinkley's assertion that science is driven by the "entrepreneurial spirit." Funny, I always thought it was intellectual curiosity. Is Brinkley urging scientists to emulate the values of Drexel Burnham Lambert? No wonder public respect for science and scientists is declining.

Particularly amusing was the unattributed opinion, coming just before Brinkley's statement quoted above, that a five grant limit and a $500,000 cap "will destroy science." Come on, now: Don't we all know of scientists funded at considerably lower levels who are doing far more creative work than most of the $1 million-per-year folks have done in years? The scientific community as...

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