Why aren’t these things evil?Posted: April 29, 2014
I would be interested if anyone had principled reasons for being in favor of the following two features of the biomedical research enterprise:
1. Large labs. I am thinking of PI:other ratios higher than 1:8. Arguments I can imagine (but have no defence for) would be related to economies of scale and pedigree advantages for trainees. If you come at me with “training quality” you better have pedigree-independent data.
2. Soft money positions. In this case, the one argument I can think of would be that there are not enough hard money university faculty to fulfill the NIH’s mandate (spend all its money), thus they ostensibly need to underwrite salaries to create a larger workforce. No idea if the premise of that is true. Sounds….not true.
So? Are these misunderstood monsters? Anyone have good reasons for these things to exist?