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Biology版 - PNAS: Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws
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话题: research话题: science话题: scientists话题: biomedical话题: nih
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我推荐大家都读一下这篇文章:
http://www.pnas.org/content/111/16/5773.full
全文:
By Bruce Alberts, Marc W. Kirschner, Shirley Tilghman, and Harold Varmus
By many measures, the biological and medical sciences are in a golden age.
That fact, which we celebrate, makes it all the more difficult to
acknowledge that the current system contains systemic flaws that are
threatening its future. A central flaw is the long-held assumption that the
enterprise will constantly expand. As a result, there is now a severe
imbalance between the dollars available for research and the still-growing
scientific community in the United States. This imbalance has created a
hypercompetitive atmosphere in which scientific productivity is reduced and
promising careers are threatened.
In retrospect, the strains have been building for some time, but it has been
difficult to recognize them in the midst of so much success. During the
last half century, biomedical scientists have discovered many of the
fundamental principles that instruct cell behavior in both health and
disease, providing a framework for exploring biological systems in great
depth: the genetic code, the sequence and organization of many genomes, the
cell’s growth and division cycle, and the molecules that mediate cell
signaling. Many diseases—infectious, hereditary, neoplastic, circulatory,
and metabolic—are now approached and often prevented, controlled, or cured
with measures based on these and other discoveries.
The American public rightly takes pride in this and has generously supported
research efforts through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and
numerous other federal agencies, foundations, advocacy groups, and academic
institutions. In return, the remarkable outpouring of innovative research
from American laboratories—high-throughput DNA sequencing, sophisticated
imaging, structural biology, designer chemistry, and computational biology—
has led to impressive advances in medicine and fueled a vibrant
pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector.
In the context of such progress, it is remarkable that even the most
successful scientists and most promising trainees are increasingly
pessimistic about the future of their chosen career. Based on extensive
observations and discussions, we believe that these concerns are justified
and that the biomedical research enterprise in the United States is on an
unsustainable path. In this article, we describe how this situation arose
and propose some possible remedies.
Source of the Dilemma
We believe that the root cause of the widespread malaise is a longstanding
assumption that the biomedical research system in the United States will
expand indefinitely at a substantial rate. We are now faced with the stark
realization that this is not the case. Over the last decade, the expansion
has stalled and even reversed.
The idea that the research enterprise would expand forever was adopted after
World War II, as the numbers and sizes of universities grew to meet the
economy’s need for more graduates and as the tenets of Vannevar Bush’s “
Science: The Endless Frontier” encouraged the expansion of federal budgets
for research (1). Growth persisted with the coming of age of the baby boom
generation in the late 1960s and 1970s and a vibrant US economy.
However, eventually, beginning around 1990 and worsening after 2003, when a
rapid doubling of the NIH budget ended, the demands for research dollars
grew much faster than the supply. The demands were fueled in large part by
incentives for institutional expansion, by the rapid growth of the
scientific workforce, and by rising costs of research. Further slowdowns in
federal funding, caused by the Great Recession of 2008 and by the budget
sequestration that followed in 2013, have significantly exacerbated the
problem. (Today, the resources available to the NIH are estimated to be at
least 25% less in constant dollars than they were in 2003.) The consequences
of this imbalance include dramatic declines in success rates for NIH grant
applicants and diminished time for scientists to think and perform
productive work.
The mismatch between supply and demand can be partly laid at the feet of the
discipline’s Malthusian traditions. The great majority of biomedical
research is conducted by aspiring trainees: by graduate students and
postdoctoral fellows. As a result, most successful biomedical scientists
train far more scientists than are needed to replace him- or herself; in the
aggregate, the training pipeline produces more scientists than relevant
positions in academia, government, and the private sector are capable of
absorbing. Consequently a growing number of PhDs are in jobs that do not
take advantage of the taxpayers’ investment in their lengthy education (2).
Fundamentally, the current system is in perpetual disequilibrium, because
it will inevitably generate an ever-increasing supply of scientists vying
for a finite set of research resources and employment opportunities. The
resulting strains have diminished the attraction of our profession for many
scientists—novice and experienced alike.
Damaging Effects of Hypercompetition
Competition in pursuit of experimental objectives has always been a part of
the scientific enterprise, and it can have positive effects. However,
hypercompetition for the resources and positions that are required to
conduct science suppresses the creativity, cooperation, risk-taking, and
original thinking required to make fundamental discoveries.
Now that the percentage of NIH grant applications that can be funded has
fallen from around 30% into the low teens, biomedical scientists are
spending far too much of their time writing and revising grant applications
and far too little thinking about science and conducting experiments. The
low success rates have induced conservative, short-term thinking in
applicants, reviewers, and funders. The system now favors those who can
guarantee results rather than those with potentially path-breaking ideas
that, by definition, cannot promise success. Young investigators are
discouraged from departing too far from their postdoctoral work, when they
should instead be posing new questions and inventing new approaches.
Seasoned investigators are inclined to stick to their tried-and-true
formulas for success rather than explore new fields.
One manifestation of this shift to short-term thinking is the inflated value
that is now accorded to studies that claim a close link to medical practice
. Human biology has always been a central part of the US biomedical effort.
However, only recently has the term “translational research” been widely,
if unofficially, used as a criterion for evaluation. Overvaluing
translational research is detracting from an equivalent appreciation of
fundamental research of broad applicability, without obvious connections to
medicine. Many surprising discoveries, powerful research tools, and
important medical benefits have arisen from efforts to decipher complex
biological phenomena in model organisms. In a climate that discourages such
work by emphasizing short-term goals, scientific progress will inevitably be
slowed, and revolutionary findings will be deferred (3).
Traditional standards for the practice of science are also threatened in
this environment. Publishing scientific reports, especially in the most
prestigious journals, has become increasingly difficult, as competition
increases and reviewers and editors demand more and more from each paper.
Long appendixes that contain the bulk of the experimental results have
become the norm for many journals and accepted practice for most scientists.
As competition for jobs and promotions increases, the inflated value given
to publishing in a small number of so-called “high impact” journals has
put pressure on authors to rush into print, cut corners, exaggerate their
findings, and overstate the significance of their work. Such publication
practices, abetted by the hypercompetitive grant system and job market, are
changing the atmosphere in many laboratories in disturbing ways. The recent
worrisome reports of substantial numbers of research publications whose
results cannot be replicated are likely symptoms of today's highly pressured
environment for research (4⇓–6). If through sloppiness, error, or
exaggeration, the scientific community loses the public’s trust in the
integrity of its work, it cannot expect to maintain public support for
science.
Crippling Demands on a Scientist's Time
The development of original ideas that lead to important scientific
discoveries takes time for thinking, reading, and talking with peers. Today,
time for reflection is a disappearing luxury for the scientific community.
In addition to writing and revising grant applications and papers,
scientists now contend with expanding regulatory requirements and government
reporting on issues such as animal welfare, radiation safety, and human
subjects protection. Although these are important aspects of running a safe
and ethically grounded laboratory, these administrative tasks are taking up
an ever-increasing fraction of the day and present serious obstacles to
concentration on the scientific mission itself.
Time pressures are also affecting the quality of peer review, an essential
element of a healthy ecosystem for science. Investigators often lack the
time to review manuscripts for journals, leaving these tasks to their
students and fellows who may lack the experience needed to appreciate the
broader context of the work and the provisional nature of truly original
findings. Professional editors are increasingly serving in roles played in
the past by working scientists and can undermine the enterprise when they
base judgments about publication on newsworthiness rather than scientific
quality.
The peer review of applications for research grants has also been affected.
Historically, study sections that review applications were composed largely
of highly respected leaders in the field, and there was widespread trust in
the fairness of the system. Today it is less common for senior scientists to
serve. Either they are not asked or, when asked, it is more difficult to
persuade them to participate because of very low success rates, difficulties
of choosing among highly meritorious proposals, and the perception that the
quality of evaluation has declined.
Supporting the Next Generation of Scientists
There is a no more worrisome consequence of the hypercompetitive culture of
biomedical science than the pall it is casting on early careers of graduate
students, postdoctoral fellows, and young investigators. A recent study
commissioned by NIH Director Francis Collins documented the rapid growth in
the number of biomedical PhDs and postdoctoral fellows trained in the United
States, driven most recently by the doubling of the NIH budget that ended a
decade ago (2). As those trainees complete their studies, they have come
face to face with slowdowns or contractions in the employment sectors—
academia, government, and the pharmaceutical and biotech industries—that
could and should benefit from their long years of training. This has led to
an extended occupancy of training positions, coupled to greatly increased
expectations from prospective employers for prior productivity.
Even after they have landed a research position in academia or research
institutes, new investigators wait an average of 4–5 y to receive federal
funding for their work compared with 1 y in 1980 (2). Two stark statistics
tell much of the tale—the average age at which PhD recipients assume their
first tenure-track job is 37 y, and they are approaching 42 y when they are
awarded their first NIH grant. In 1980, 16% of NIH grant recipients were 36
y of age or younger; today that number is 3% (2). It is no surprise that
extraordinarily well-trained and successful young scientists are opting out
of academic science in greater and greater numbers; not because they find
other opportunities so much more attractive, but because they are
discouraged by the nature of their future life in academia.
From the early 1990s, every labor economist who has studied the pipeline for
the biomedical workforce has proclaimed it to be broken (2, 7⇓⇓
⇓⇓–12). However, little has been done to reform the system,
primarily because it continues to benefit more established and hence more
influential scientists and because it has undoubtedly produced great science
. Economists point out that many labor markets experience expansions and
contractions, but biomedical science does not respond to classic market
forces. As the demographer Michael Teitelbaum has observed (9), lower
employment prospects for future scientists would normally be expected to
lead to a decline in graduate school applicants, as well as to a contraction
in the system.
In biomedical research, this does not happen, in part because of a large
influx of foreign applicants (2) for whom the prospects in the United States
are more attractive than what they face in their own countries, but also
because the opportunities for discovering new knowledge and improving human
health are inherently so appealing.
Perverse Incentives in Research Funding
The assumption that the biomedical research enterprise will expand
continuously at a high rate has powerfully motivated the behavior of large
academic medical centers (7⇓–9). Salaries paid by grants are subject
to indirect cost reimbursement, creating a strong incentive for universities
to enlarge their faculties by seeking as much faculty salary support as
possible on government grants. This has led to an enormous growth in “soft
money” positions, with stagnation in the ranks of faculty who have
institutional support. The government is also indirectly paying for the new
buildings to house these scientists by allowing debt service on new
construction to be included in its calculations of indirect cost recovery.
These are perverse incentives because they encourage grantee institutions to
grow without making sufficient investments in their own faculty and
facilities. As a result, thousands of US faculty members now compete
intensely not only for research funds but also for their own salaries within
a shrinking pool of dollars.
Recommendations for Change
To create a more sustainable enterprise—one that achieves the high goals to
which both biomedical scientists and the public aspire—we propose several
steps, some of which will need to be gradually implemented over a prolonged
period (perhaps as long as 10 y).
Our broad objectives are threefold: (i) to advocate for predictable budgets
for US funding agencies and for an altered composition of the research
workforce, both with the aim of making the research environment sustainable;
(ii) to rebalance the research portfolio by recognizing the inertia that
favors large projects and by improving the peer review system so that more
imaginative, long-term proposals are being funded and scientific careers can
have a more stable course; and (iii) to encourage changes in governmental
policies that now have the unintended consequence of promoting excessive,
unsustainable growth of the US biomedical research enterprise.
Specific Recommendations
Planning for Predictable and Stable Funding of Science. In this paper, we
focused on the structural aspects of the US biomedical enterprise that need
attention in an era of limited resources rather than making the case for
greater resources. Nevertheless, we strongly believe that increased funding
would have great benefits in both the short and long run, that the
remarkable opportunities in biomedical science justify enlarged budgets, and
that vigorous arguments for such increases should be made. However, our
current funding system has no built-in regulator, so budget increases are
always rapidly absorbed and create a need for even greater increases.
In allocating federal funds for the research enterprise, greater emphasis
should be placed on the predictability and stability of growth. We encourage
Congressional appropriators and the executive branch to consider adding a 5
-y projected fiscal plan to the current budgetary process. This plan would
be updated each year, at the same time that annual appropriation bills are
written. This modest addition to the present system, while not creating
inflexible mandates, would acknowledge the need for long-term planning for
measured growth of the nation’s scientific enterprise.
Bringing the Biomedical Enterprise into Sustainable Equilibrium. The goal of
the next set of recommendations is to gradually reduce the number of
entrants into PhD training in biomedical science—producing a better
alignment between the number of entrants and their future opportunities—and
to alter the ratio of trainees to staff scientists in research groups. At
the same time, we should do more to help transition outstanding young people
with scientific training into a broad range of careers that can benefit
from their abilities and education. Together those changes will lead to an
enterprise that is both more flexible and sustainable.
Educating graduate students. For the last several decades, the numbers of
graduate students pursuing careers in biomedical science have grown
unchecked because trainees are overwhelmingly supported on research grants (
2). In contrast, the number of students who rely on training grants and
individual fellowships has remained constant for a long time.
To give federal agencies more control over the number of trainees and the
quality of their training, we propose moving gradually to a system in which
graduate students are supported with training grants and fellowships and not
with research grants. Fellowships have the virtue of providing peer review
of the student applicants, and training programs set high standards for
selection of students and for the education they receive.
If this recommendation is adopted, it will be essential to change policies
that now prohibit the funding of non-US citizens on training grants. Foreign
students have contributed enormously to the vibrancy and success of US
science, and their continuing contributions are critical to the future of
science in the United States.
Broadening the career paths for young scientists. Graduate training in
biomedical fields has historically functioned as an apprenticeship, in which
students conduct original research with the expectation that they will
replace their mentors. With the percentage of recent PhDs in academic
positions falling to 20% (2), the training of graduate students needs to
diversify to reflect the realities of the job market. A graduate education
in the sciences produces individuals with broadly applicable skills in
critical thinking and problem-solving, whose expertise could be invaluable
in fields such as science policy and administration, the commerce of science
, science writing, the law, and science education at all levels. Furthermore
, recent surveys reveal that a substantial fraction of today's graduate
students in the sciences are interested in pursuing nonresearch careers (13,
14). However, for the most part, neither the faculty nor the students are
well enough informed about such careers. Nor are there clear pathways for
entry. (One exception is the AAAS Science and Technology Fellowships, which
for 40 y have allowed carefully selected scientists and engineers with
advanced degrees to work in the US government in Washington, DC, for a year.
Historically, approximately half of these Fellows have remained in policy
positions, occupying critical positions that greatly benefit the nation.
However, such opportunities number in the low hundreds each year, a small
fraction of the 8,000 PhDs who graduate annually in the biological sciences
alone.)
To make informed decisions, graduate students need opportunities to gain
hands-on experience in appropriate career environments. We should aim for a
future in which graduate students have opportunities to explore a variety of
career paths, with only those seeking careers that demand additional
research training taking up postdoctoral research positions. To that end,
the NIH has recently announced a new program to encourage diversifying
graduate education (15). Moreover, interdisciplinary MS degree programs that
combine training in science with leadership, project management, teamwork,
and communication skills match well with industry needs (11, 16) and should
be expanded with federal support.
Training postdoctoral fellows. There are currently more than 40,000
postdoctoral fellows in the US biomedical research system, and the number
has been increasing rapidly in recent years (2, 17). The position has become
one in which young scientists spend a significant fraction of their most
productive years while being paid salaries that are quite low considering
their extensive education. On the one hand, these fellows are pursuing
science full time without the distractions that often come with more
permanent jobs. On the other hand, for most of them, the holding pattern
postpones the time when they are able to explore their own ideas in
independent careers.
We offer two suggestions intended to reduce the numbers of postdoctoral
fellows and promote a more rapid transit through postdoctoral training:
i) Increase the compensation for all federally funded postdoctoral fellows,
regardless of grant mechanisms. This would need to be done gradually over
time, with the goal of reaching the compensation levels for staff scientists
. This proposal would reduce the total number of fellows that the system
could support and eliminate cost considerations when a laboratory head
weighs the benefits of choosing between a postdoctoral fellow and a staff
scientist (see next section).
ii) Limit the total number of years that a postdoctoral fellow may be
supported by federal research grants. Beyond this limit, salaries would be
required to rise to that of research staff scientists, as is already the
case at some institutions.
Using staff scientists. Historically, staff scientists—usually MSc or PhD
recipients who are no longer trainees—have been used sparingly in US
research laboratories. Resistance to staff scientists has focused on the
greater cost of salaries relative to graduate students and fellows and on
the belief that permanent staff may be less creative and hardworking. These
arguments ignore the fact that beginning graduate students and fellows are
also costly because they often require considerable time to become highly
productive.
We believe that staff scientists can and should play increasingly important
roles in the biomedical workforce. Within individual laboratories, they can
oversee the day-to-day work of the laboratory, taking on some of the
administrative burdens that now tend to fall on the shoulders of the
laboratory head; orient and train new members of the laboratory; manage
large equipment and common facilities; and perform scientific projects
independently or in collaboration with other members of the group. Within
institutions, they can serve as leaders and technical experts in core
laboratories serving multiple investigators and even multiple institutions.
We recommend increasing the ratio of permanent staff positions to trainee
positions, both in individual laboratories and in core facilities that serve
multiple laboratories. To succeed, universities will need employment
policies that provide these individuals with attractive career paths, short
of guaranteed employment. Also, granting agencies will need to recognize the
value of longer-serving laboratory members. If adopted, this change would
help to bring the system closer to equilibrium. There is precedent for such
a policy in the intramural NIH research program, which employs many well-
trained MSc and PhD graduates as staff scientists to conduct research.
Two of the likely consequences of these changes in graduate and postdoctoral
training and employment of staff scientists will be an increase in the unit
cost of research and a reduction in the average size of laboratories. We
believe that the significant benefits—including brighter prospects for
trainees, less pressure to obtain multiple grants to sustain a group’s
financial viability, increased incentives to collaborate, and more time for
investigators to focus on their science—substantially outweigh the
limitations.
Grant-Making That Improves Scientific Productivity. To increase support for
the best science through federal grants, we recommend that funding agencies
take several steps to improve the criteria and mechanisms used to evaluate
candidates and their proposals. We also recommend a shift in the kinds of
research grants offered. Also, to ensure the highest standards of excellence
, we propose that objective outside reviews be commissioned at regular
intervals to monitor both the value of established programs and the quality
of agency implementations.
Improving the goals and mechanisms for scientific grants. In awarding
research grants, recognition of originality is critical for achieving the
goal of making scientific advances that promise long-term benefits to
society. Providing resources to those scientists who are most likely to make
important contributions over the course of their career is essential for
the optimal use of research funds.
i) We recommend wider use of grant mechanisms that provide more stable
support for outstanding investigators at various career stages, focusing as
much (or more) on the overall quality of their science as on their proposed
projects. The success of investigators supported by the Howard Hughes
Medical Institute (18), which takes this approach, suggests that, with very
careful screening by the appropriate reviewers (who must be outstanding
scientists themselves), this can be an especially effective way to support
and encourage excellent science. This approach is under active discussion
among NIH leadership (6).
ii) Inertia and financial dependency favor continuing large research
programs, so sunset provisions should be built into all new programs and
orchestrated team efforts. To combat the tendency for fields to become
parochial, agencies should develop funding mechanisms that encourage the
growth of new fields, both by direct support for new science and by a
rigorous regular evaluation of existing programs.
iii) Science agencies should significantly increase the numbers and kinds of
awards that emphasize originality and risk-taking, especially in new areas
of science, without requiring extensive preliminary results. This is
particularly critical for beginning independent investigators, who should be
encouraged to depart from the work that they carried out as trainees to
investigate unexplored problems in new ways. Programs like the NIH Director'
s New Innovator Award (19) have been designed for this purpose, but there
are far too few such awards to affect the way that young scientists
currently plan their careers
iv) Agencies should also be sensitive to the total numbers of dollars
granted to individual laboratories, recognizing that—although different
research activities have different costs—at some point, returns per dollar
diminish. For that reason, we applaud the recent decision by the NIH to
examine grant portfolios carefully before increasing direct research support
for a laboratory beyond one million dollars per year.
Improving evaluation criteria. The peer review panels that evaluate grant
proposals require appropriate criteria to guide their work. To this end, we
recommend the following:
i) The tools used to judge past performance should be sharpened to identify
the strongest candidates for support. The qualitative aspects of each
candidate’s major scientific achievements should receive more emphasis than
the numbers and venues of publications. Evaluation criteria should also put
a higher priority on the quality, novelty, and long-term objectives of the
project than on technical details.
ii) Review guidelines should be appropriately adjusted for young scientists
to promote the funding of thoughtful proposals that reveal ingenuity and
promise findings with potentially broad implications. The criteria used to
evaluate the NIH Director's New Innovator Award set useful standards.
Strengthening grant review panels. Expert peer review depends on recruiting
the most qualified scientists to carry it out.
i) The quality of review groups should be enhanced by taking advantage of
the full range of talent in the scientific community. All current grant
holders should be expected to serve on such groups if asked and not just
once in a career. In addition, federal agencies should diminish the
requirement for geographical representation that now limits the choice of
panel members. These changes will allow funding agencies to recruit the best
scientists of all ages and from all locations to perform this critical
service for the scientific community.
ii) Those who plan and assemble review groups should broaden the range of
scientific problems judged by each group and include a diversity of fields
on each panel. Senior scientists with a wide appreciation for different
fields can play important roles by counteracting the tendency of specialists
to overvalue work in their own field. When review bodies become too insular
, they risk becoming special interest groups for their subfield and may fail
to encourage support of the most imaginative science.
Evaluating programs, policies, and their implementation. Even the best
policies and processes—whether applied to scientific programs or to the
review of applications—require periodic arms-length evaluations, especially
in times of fiscal constraint. We urge agencies to continue and expand such
evaluations, to make the findings publicly accessible, and to recognize the
advantages of having them performed by groups that are independent of the
agency being examined. The questions asked should include whether a
particular program or policy is being well executed, how it might be
improved, what types of data are needed to guide evaluation, and whether the
goals might be better met in other ways.
Addressing Policies That Undermine Sustainability. Federal policies
regarding indirect cost recovery have the advantage of providing support for
facilities and administrative costs only after a merit-based peer review of
research proposals. However, they have also enabled academic medical
centers and other institutions to expand their faculties and facilities
without making corresponding investments of their own, generating some of
the perverse incentives discussed earlier.
We recommend that the US government develop a plan to revise these practices
gradually over the next decade while providing a discrete timetable.
Targets of policy change should include the full reimbursement to amortize
loans for new buildings, the payment of indirect costs on faculty salaries,
and the provision that allows 100% of faculty salaries to be supported on
research grants.
Conclusion and Future Plans
The US research community cannot continue to ignore the warning signs of a
system under great stress and at risk for incipient decline. We believe that
the American public will continue its strong support for biomedical
research and that larger budgets are possible, defensible, and desirable.
However, because of structural flaws in the system, such increases can only
partially ameliorate a worsening problem.
We are confident that a research system as productive and democratic as ours
can correct its vulnerabilities. Some fundamental changes are required
because the system cannot expand indefinitely along the current trajectory.
The necessary changes are multiple and need to be made in a comprehensive
fashion, not piecemeal. Such changes are likely to be difficult and are
potentially damaging in the short run; hence, they need to be made with
extreme care. Nevertheless, the changes need to begin immediately, because
the situation we have described has grown significantly worse in just the
last few years. Widespread engagement with these changes is necessary,
beginning with immediate debate, strong advocacy for change, and action by
individual scientists, the funding agencies, academic institutions, and
other entities that control and pay for the conduct of science.
The future world of biomedical science that we envision is not smaller in
human talent or financial support or less ambitious in its goals to discover
and apply biological principles. Ideally, it will continue to grow. However
, it would balance supply and demand in a sustainable fashion, adjust the
pipeline that delivers new scientists, moderate the size of laboratories
that are now difficult to fund, and restore an environment in which talented
trainees and scientists can do their best work.
Our immediate goal has been to stimulate debate of the issues that concern
us and the changes we propose. The task cannot be left to a self-appointed
subset of senior scientists like ourselves or to the leaders of the NIH who
are known to be considering many of these same problems (6). We therefore
encourage academic institutions, scientific societies, funding organizations
, and other interested parties to organize discussions, national and
regional, with a wide range of relevant constituencies.
Some discussions of this type are already planned (20). However, mere
discussion will not suffice. Critical action is needed on several fronts by
many parties to reform the enterprise. No less than the future vitality of
US biomedical science is at stake.
Acknowledgments
We thank Stefano Bertuzzi, Henry Bourne, Francis Collins, Tony Fauci, Harvey
Fineberg, Michael Greenberg, Rush Holt, Tyler Jacks, Elliot Meyerowitz, Tim
Mitchison, Dinah Singer, Ron Vale, Rebecca Ward, and Eric Wieschaus for
helpful comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript. The views expressed
here are personal opinions of the four authors and do not necessarily
represent the positions of the academic or governmental organizations for
which we work.
1To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: s*[email protected]
Author contributions: B.A., M.W.K., S.T., and H.V. wrote the paper.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
This article is a PNAS Direct Submission.
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s*****j
发帖数: 6435
2
第一句就象在扯蛋.

the

【在 O******e 的大作中提到】
: 我推荐大家都读一下这篇文章:
: http://www.pnas.org/content/111/16/5773.full
: 全文:
: By Bruce Alberts, Marc W. Kirschner, Shirley Tilghman, and Harold Varmus
: By many measures, the biological and medical sciences are in a golden age.
: That fact, which we celebrate, makes it all the more difficult to
: acknowledge that the current system contains systemic flaws that are
: threatening its future. A central flaw is the long-held assumption that the
: enterprise will constantly expand. As a result, there is now a severe
: imbalance between the dollars available for research and the still-growing

a*********n
发帖数: 2526
3
原来美国现在只有4万postdoc啊,pool不大,怎么天天哀号遍野

the

【在 O******e 的大作中提到】
: 我推荐大家都读一下这篇文章:
: http://www.pnas.org/content/111/16/5773.full
: 全文:
: By Bruce Alberts, Marc W. Kirschner, Shirley Tilghman, and Harold Varmus
: By many measures, the biological and medical sciences are in a golden age.
: That fact, which we celebrate, makes it all the more difficult to
: acknowledge that the current system contains systemic flaws that are
: threatening its future. A central flaw is the long-held assumption that the
: enterprise will constantly expand. As a result, there is now a severe
: imbalance between the dollars available for research and the still-growing

H****N
发帖数: 997
4
刚刚读完。每个PI都应该读,每个生物博士生,博士后既考虑学生物的都应该读一下。
施一公也应该读一下。
关键是里面提到的改变现状的措施有谁去推动,实施。
E**********y
发帖数: 991
5
Exactly!
他们可以随便拍拍脑袋写,但奥巴马恐怕不太理解这些段落的含义,NIH funding这么
多年没变,人力成本年年上涨,试剂也越来越贵,简直没有办法生存了。每个学校的
PhD program都应该缩小招生规模,NIH 应该加大保护young generation的力度。一个
有5个R01的PI,少两个对他影响不大,但对于一个新入行的PI有没有一个R01是生死线
。NIH有些outcome欠评估的大项目,一些政客鼓吹的center grant,就像CTSA,每年烧
掉多少钱,也没觉得有什么成果出来。

【在 H****N 的大作中提到】
: 刚刚读完。每个PI都应该读,每个生物博士生,博士后既考虑学生物的都应该读一下。
: 施一公也应该读一下。
: 关键是里面提到的改变现状的措施有谁去推动,实施。

p*******r
发帖数: 4048
6
Yes, this hypercompetition is what made me decide to leave this country.
I dreamed with another friend from MITBBS to build a company predicated on
standardized data production and bioinformatics and a university lab free
from such strains.
I am glad that he has succeeded in quite a big way and I had some partial
success.:)

the

【在 O******e 的大作中提到】
: 我推荐大家都读一下这篇文章:
: http://www.pnas.org/content/111/16/5773.full
: 全文:
: By Bruce Alberts, Marc W. Kirschner, Shirley Tilghman, and Harold Varmus
: By many measures, the biological and medical sciences are in a golden age.
: That fact, which we celebrate, makes it all the more difficult to
: acknowledge that the current system contains systemic flaws that are
: threatening its future. A central flaw is the long-held assumption that the
: enterprise will constantly expand. As a result, there is now a severe
: imbalance between the dollars available for research and the still-growing

a*********n
发帖数: 2526
7
do not underestimate the power of these people. The doubling of NIH budget
during Clinton era is the result of their lobbying.

【在 E**********y 的大作中提到】
: Exactly!
: 他们可以随便拍拍脑袋写,但奥巴马恐怕不太理解这些段落的含义,NIH funding这么
: 多年没变,人力成本年年上涨,试剂也越来越贵,简直没有办法生存了。每个学校的
: PhD program都应该缩小招生规模,NIH 应该加大保护young generation的力度。一个
: 有5个R01的PI,少两个对他影响不大,但对于一个新入行的PI有没有一个R01是生死线
: 。NIH有些outcome欠评估的大项目,一些政客鼓吹的center grant,就像CTSA,每年烧
: 掉多少钱,也没觉得有什么成果出来。

E**********y
发帖数: 991
8
let's see if we could see another doubling in the next 2 decades

【在 a*********n 的大作中提到】
: do not underestimate the power of these people. The doubling of NIH budget
: during Clinton era is the result of their lobbying.

a*********n
发帖数: 2526
9
I would not expect another doubling under the current situation. However, if
infrastructure is significantly changed as they proposed, such as ratio of
postdoc/tech, people in this systme may have a better life.

【在 E**********y 的大作中提到】
: let's see if we could see another doubling in the next 2 decades
P******r
发帖数: 966
10
想法挺好,但是得系统实行才有效。美国的“民主制度”里,如何统领约束每个PI和研
究所的行为?比如增加staff scientist的人数,限制博后数量?
恐怕只有中国的习core才有办法改变这个系统。

the

【在 O******e 的大作中提到】
: 我推荐大家都读一下这篇文章:
: http://www.pnas.org/content/111/16/5773.full
: 全文:
: By Bruce Alberts, Marc W. Kirschner, Shirley Tilghman, and Harold Varmus
: By many measures, the biological and medical sciences are in a golden age.
: That fact, which we celebrate, makes it all the more difficult to
: acknowledge that the current system contains systemic flaws that are
: threatening its future. A central flaw is the long-held assumption that the
: enterprise will constantly expand. As a result, there is now a severe
: imbalance between the dollars available for research and the still-growing

s******c
发帖数: 331
11
这么老的paper还在讨论?
无论如何,写这个文章的四个人,都是做生物的里面非常powerful的人物,前
princeton校长,NCI director等,都可以大大影响policy制定的人,他们写这么个东
西出来,还是挺好的,表明制定policy的人都有改革的决心。
1 (共1页)
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