Money walks. At the Washington Times:
Take, for example, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). The current NIH budget is $32.3 billion, all of it from taxpayers. The Trump administration proposes to reduce that amount, though the decision is up to Congress. A scientist quoted in a recent article in The Atlantic says the proposed reduction would “bring American biomedical science to a halt.” But the NIH budget has been reduced several times in the past eight years without that happening.
The 2017 March for Science is not about protecting experimental science, which is in no danger — at least, no danger from the U.S. government. It’s about pressuring lawmakers to vote for more money.
But throwing more money at the NIH may not be such a good idea. Science journalist Paul Voosen wrote in 2015 that “science today is riven with perverse incentives,” most of them financial. Universities and financing agencies reward scientists based on their publication records. This encourages the submission of results that have not been carefully checked and often cannot be replicated. Mr. Voosen quoted biologist Arturo Casadevall: “Scientists themselves are playing this game because once they succeed, the rewards are so great they basically force everyone to do it.” More.
See also: March for Science: Neil DeGrasse Tyson thinks science denial dismantles democracy. Poseur. Democracy gets dismantled mainly when not believing the government of the day becomes a crime.
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