Hughes Biomedical Funding A Mixed Blessing, Some Say

And the investment has paid off--as evidenced by, among other things, HHMI researchers' prolific and influential publication record: Last year, for example, nearly one- quarter of the 200 most cited biomedical publications by U.S. scientists were authored by HHMI-affiliated investigators (see story on page 14). But despite the institute'S imposing presence and glowing achievements, some researchers and agency officials contend that

Karen Kreeger
Oct 2, 1994
Over the years, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)-- the largest private philanthropic biomedical research organization in the United States--has had a major impact on American science. In 1993 alone, HHMI reportedly spent about $268 million in support of biomedical research in the nation, representing nearly one-fifth of the total amount doled out by nonprofit organizations.

And the investment has paid off--as evidenced by, among other things, HHMI researchers' prolific and influential publication record: Last year, for example, nearly one- quarter of the 200 most cited biomedical publications by U.S. scientists were authored by HHMI-affiliated investigators (see story on page 14).

But despite the institute'S imposing presence and glowing achievements, some researchers and agency officials contend that certain side-effects of the HHMI program are not in the best interests of the scientific research community or the scientists themselves.

They claim, for example, that the program fosters a scientific elitism that...

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