Page 3.14


In a recent New York Times article, Grant System Leads Cancer Researchers to Play It Safe, the National Cancer Institute and parent institution NIH were taken to task for their biased funding of low-risk studies, which lead to what the article claims are few breakthroughs in effective treatment. The article critiques the funding of research that produces only “incremental progress,” or that focuses on prevention through diet and health. But, as ScienceBlogger Orac points out, it fails to provide evidence that granting funds to riskier projects–with the potential for higher impact–would in fact be an improvement. And Mike the Mad Biologist offers an alternative solution to the funding fix: increased funding of large-scale, rather than long-shot, research.