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The “downfall” of my grant writing today

These are two videos that appeared to have disappeared from YouTube for a while, thanks to takedown notices from the distributors of the film. Fortunately, they appear to be back, which is pure awesomeness. Unfortunately, because I’m busy putting the final touches on a grant today, the first one resonates in a rather eerie way. Unfortunately, neither of them appear to allow embedding:

Back to work, now…

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

13 replies on “The “downfall” of my grant writing today”

If it were not for those horrible copyright-infringing Hitler parodies, I would never have watched the movie.

It was excellent. Depressing as hell, but a very good movie.

Bad science gets funding AND gets published in medical journals we call prestigious. If you are a critical reader, you can see and feel the bias and conflicts of interests in these medical journals. Oh, and then there are those craptastic, biased review articles to support the political bias of the publications. Don’t forget those.

Good science sometimes (ok, maybe a little bit more than sometimes) does not get funding because of politics. And no, I am not even talking about government politics. I am talking about the politics and bias of those in peer review process as well.

Everything essentially boils down to money. The people that produce crap for dozens of years will continue to produce crap and get their crap published, especially if they have a major institution next to their name that is highly influential in the publication.

And the little guy? Oh, forget him. He may be brilliant, but he doesn’t have any money and can’t get grant money. He may have to submit to a much less prestigious medical journal, and in worse cases, pay to publish journals. Oh, and challenge the paradigm too much – career suicide. Well, if you’re really lucky, perhaps that respect will come back and politics will dissipate when they place that nobel prize tightly in your hands.

The politics of science is getting increasingly political, and if you can’t see that, I think we need a group therapy session.

God I hate politics, and I am not just referring to government politics. It’s everywhere. Perhaps I’ll just have to live with the idea that we are facing corruption on a massive scale as I really don’t know what I could do about it.

Many say science always works things out. Well, maybe it does, if the science doesn’t get buried and the vast majority of researchers leave their biases behind them and carry out honest research. But even then, even honest researchers can unintentionally skew results towards their hypothesis.

I think there is only one solution – get rid of human beings. They are flawed.

A bit off topic–After seeing so many of these videos I actually rented Downfall and gave it a watch. It’s a good movie, but really damn depressing.

I’d like to add mine to the positive remarks about Der Untergang; it really is an excellent movie, well-acted and, as mentioned, depressing as all get out.

It’s a good movie. There’s an English dub version somewhere, I think? or maybe there was a similar movie made.
It’s important not to forget such history.

It’s a very funny video on a serious topic; the lunacy of Hitler…and the lunacy of what is going on in Libya today with Khadafi, (Ghadafi?) (the evil one wearing the various costumes). I’ll try to get the English-dubbed version…now if I can figure out how to work the DVD player.

You guys are having all the fun on Orac’s Dr. Jay blog. I’ve tried to to post and am unable. In fact, several tries resulted in my Kaspersky-protected laptop slowing to a crawl and “critical” objects scan going crazy.

Orac, hope you get through the onerous, tiresome task of grant writing.

Thank you for the laugh! I needed that after failing a few of those future reviewers today.

“They told me an MD degree would help secure funding…
Memorizing useless sh*t during the prime years of my life!
I’m STILL paying back those med school loans.”

“Damn Politics…It’s corrupted the whole system!”

Good luck with your grant writing.

I once worked as a lab assistant for a professor, and he stated once to me and the other lab assistants that grant writing was one of the parts of lab work that he hated the most.

So I hope that everything goes well for you.

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