Science policy news weekly update: June 30, 2017

The ASBMB’s Public Affairs Department encourages all readers of the Policy Blotter to alert the office about interesting and relevant articles. Please send tips to astothert@asbmb.org.

 

The $2 billion increase Congress gave the National Institutes of Health for fiscal 2017 was widely considered a victory for the bioscience community. However, despite two consecutive years of funding increases, longstanding practices at research institutions across the U.S. threatens to undermine national support for scientific funding. The main problem is the “publish or perish” model that many academic institutions operate under. Instead of focusing on quality of work and discovery of new knowledge, researchers focus on the volume of research produced in order to secure future funding grants and keep their jobs. This behavior leads researchers at institutions to shift focus from what the general public assumes NIH funds are being used for (impactful discovery) to their need to bring in grant money. Therefore, in order for steady funding to continue with full support from the general public, something needs to be done to allow researchers to return their focus to improving human life without risk to their job security.

Quality and collaboration, not growth, should drive research institutions (STAT)

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