Software Carpentry

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Playing Safe

This thoughtful article from the New York Times asks whether the current grant system for funding research discourages researchers from taking risks.  My personal experience undoubtedly biases me, but I tend to agree—the problem is coming up with something better.

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Written by Greg Wilson

2009/08/24 at 18:41

Posted in Noticed

One Response

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  1. The only grant review I was asked to do during my long career in geodesy was for one submitted by scientists at an extremely prestigeous instutution. It was obvious that this was something between zero-risk research and an engineering study. Technically it was just about perfect and could not be criticized on such grounds. It could not have failed in any conceivable way. So that is what I wrote and I was never asked to do a review again. Is honesty the best policy? Does doing grant reviews get one any brownie points in the scientific establishment? I freely admit I was tempted to lavish praise on the project, but instead I put integrity over career advancement? Was I stupid?

    Foster Morrison

    2009/08/24 at 19:52


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