Monday, September 19, 2005

CIRM System: Convoluted and Opaque?

"Grossly unfair," "completely unworkable," "doomed for failure" – several of the things The Sacramento Bee has to say about the grant-making process of the California stem cell agency.

"It is hard to imagine a system that is more convoluted and opaque," The Bee editorialized on Sunday.

"You can't say the oversight board wasn't warned. Months ago, institute reformers told the oversight board that its closed-door policies would be self-defeating. 'You will be confined to considering what the working groups put on your plate, with little or no sense of how it got there, or what is missing or why,' wrote Terry Francke, counsel for the good-government group, Californians Aware.

"The institute overseers now have two choices:

"1) Become a true decision-making board and insist on all information about grant applications it is judging.
"2) Become more like the National Institutes of Health, and delegate the job of awarding grants to an outside panel of scientists. Such scientists, as decision makers, would need to disclose their potential conflicts.

"Without changes, the current experiment seems doomed for failure." Sphere: Related Content

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