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Showing posts from August, 2014

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a distraction, not a solution

A medical researcher friend of mine made a really good point about the Ice Bucket Challenge yesterday, that the largest source of ALS research funding in the world comes through the NIH, which has lost 25% of its funding due to combination of overzealous federal budget cuts and inflation.
Why is it that our government is arguing that we can no longer afford this, while simultaneously increasing its expenditure on sending weapons to Israel, on drone warfare, and on building a massive surveillance apparatus that watches the activities of pretty much everyone on the internet?
The $23 million (to date) raised through this challenge is literally a drop in the bucket. As part of my job, I review small business expenditures for NIH research grants to a university. The average grant that I review is around $5-8 million dollars. That’s just for one academic study covering about five years of research. We've got a smaller number of subcontracting plans to review this year because the gov…