From the Comments: Incentives, Academe, Science and Grants

In my experience scientists [including social scientists and including me] are incented to get more money for their research. The effects of funding on research can be worrisome. For example for reasons of politics and public opinion a disproportionate amount of money was devoted to HIV research. By disproportionate I mean that in my opinion there would be more bang for buck on bigger public health problems like malaria, certain cancers etc.

However does that mean that I should doubt the findings of the virologists, immunologists, and all the other -ists doing the research? I think not. Certainly not in the aggregate. Chasing the bucks might lead them to doing research in the ‘wrong’ area so to speak but it won’t lead them to falsify their results.

This is from Dr Amburgey (he’s real) and it comes from an exchange on climate change/global warming. I raised a concern I had about the incentive structure built into the scientific community of the West, but Dr Amburgey’s logic has put my skepticism to rest.

2 thoughts on “From the Comments: Incentives, Academe, Science and Grants

  1. Nothing to see here folk, move along please, there’s nothing to worry about with the climate, it’s doin’ just fine, believe me, I’m a politician and know what I’m talking about, an all will be well, trust me, I’ve heard from the best selected advisors we can afford, and they know what they’re talking about, for sure, and ,,,,,,,,,,

    Well, that’s what we keep hearing, and you can believe it if you want to.

    A picture is worth a thousand words, and I think this cartoon says it all . . . . . .



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