Academia, Applied Research and Your Tax Dollars

July 1, 2014 8:59 PM

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Academia, Applied Research and Your Tax Dollars

An intriguing article was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences -- one of the most prestigious (more on "prestige" later) journals around -- with the provocative title, "Rescuing U.S. Biomedical Research from Its Systemic Flaws." That this was written by some of our country's most well-respected scientists provides credibility to this challenging and thought-provoking critique. The piece also provides fodder for significant soul-searching in our academic community.

One manifestation of this shift to short-term thinking is the inflated value that is now accorded to studies that claim a close link to medical practice. Human biology has always been a central part of the U.S. biomedical effort. However, only recently has the term "translational research" been wide...

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