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The Buzz: NIH Stimulus Debate

Last weekend, a letter from acting NIH director Raynard S. Kington was distributed to NIH investigators and began making the rounds in the blogosphere as well. The letter detailed specific plans for the $8.2 billion of NIH funding included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus package. ScienceBloggers immediately expressed fear that a dramatic increase in funding could lead to a repeat of the 1990s “lost generation” crisis, when young scientists attracted by generous grants found themselves without career opportunities when funding failed to keep pace with demand. A lively discussion developed around how best to spend the money to avoid unintended consequences of a sudden increase in funding.