Sunday, April 20, 2014

Alberts et al: "Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws"

The long-held but erroneous assumption of never-ending rapid growth in biomedical science has created an unsustainable hypercompetitive system that is discouraging even the most outstanding prospective students from entering our profession—and making it difficult for seasoned investigators to produce their best work. This is a recipe for long-term decline, and the problems cannot be solved with simplistic approaches. Instead, it is time to confront the dangers at hand and rethink some fundamental features of the US biomedical research ecosystem.

That's the abstract of the PNAS paper entitled Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws by Bruce Alberts, Marc W. Kirschner, Shirley Tilghman,and Harold Varmus, each of them a biggie in science and in US science policy.

Link via DrugMonkey who has also penned a critique of this article; his post starts with a very perceptive tweet from Jonathan Gitlin: "This should be read as a mea culpa, given the authors’ roles in creating this problem in the first place."