Originally Posted by DigiOC
While I do agree you offer a valid point, the Internet, GPS, Speech translation, Stealth planes, etc. are all a result of said system.
True, like I said, there are certainly benefits to it, as it puts the focus on one task and gets it done; but one has to ask, is it not likely that some (or all) of these inventions not come to pass independently, and what other research has now been put aside for the pursuit of the "big science" objective? As research becomes increasingly corporatized even in academia, PIs are becoming more and more "follow the money", and by necessity.
Originally Posted by Biorganic
And yet, I work in a Biochemistry Lab at a University which recently got a 300k grant from NIH. The Professor I work for is pursuing science for science sake, they gave him the grant because they were interested by his preliminary findings. So in this case it is promoting independent and free-thinking research.
Is this related to this initiative? It's not like all independent research will suddenly cease, just that some manpower, money, and mindpower will be diverted. In fact, it's likely your PI received this grant because of some other existing fund or specific initiative as opposed to a general funding grant. In a likelihood, while he may be pursuing science for science's sake, by coincidence, it aligns with some interest group up at NIH.
99% of the time, what happened to your PI will not be the case. NIH doesn't just hand out money for something they think is cool, unless it's part of some greater objective. It's likely in fact that if your PI is on to something that competes with or can augment an NIH group, they may try to coerce him to joining them; many NIH grants come with contingency clauses that require collaboration or assimilation into NIH to receive the money.Edited by ybz90 - 4/3/13 at 12:51pm