The Scientific Activist

Since we had an interesting discussion here back in September about the rapid decline in success rates of NIH R01 grants, I should point readers over to Effect Measure for some informed commentary on a recent article in Science (subscription required) from NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni. The success rate of Type-1 grants, for example, fell by more than one half from 2000 to 2005, a bad sign coming from the nation’s flagship biomedical research grant program. Certainly, then, Zerhouni has some ‘splainin’ to do. I’ll defer to Effect Measure, though, to summarize and comment on Zerhouni’s argument

One thing I will add, though, is that while the drop in success rates cannot be solely blamed on the Bush Administration or the Republican Congress, both have been shockingly silent and inactive on the issue, allowing the slide to continue. Hopefully we can expect better from the incoming Democratic Congress.