Helplessness Blues

Yet another reply to an attack on science and science funding. Though I disagree with the sentiment in the last sentence, this is pretty spot on.

It is not the job of a politician to determine what science needs to be done and should be done. That should be left to the experts and people actually trained in science. It’s bad enough that the science-illiterati creates the budget. Stop wasting our time trying to discredit the science being done.

Save-the-Science logo

One thing you should know is that the process for funding is extremely rigorous. Scientific researchers spend a meaningful chunk of time writing a grant proposal that they will then send on to a granting agency with fingers crossed. The proposal entails the following: an explanation of the research question, why it’s important, how it can be tackled (i.e. experimentation), a budget outline for necessary equipment/space/travel needs, and anticipated results of the study.

It is a laborious process, and at the end of the day, the application gets put into a giant pile of other applications. They are then reviewed by experts and selected for funding.

As the above article mentions, less than 10% of these proposals actually get funded. So if a researcher actually DOES acquire funding from the miniscule budget that was created, trust that it is important work. It had to run the gauntlet to even get to that stage.

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