Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Media Unexcited by SEED Grant Scores

Tuesday's announcement of the scores on the first-ever research grants to be awarded by the California stem cell agency received virtually no media attention.

A brief note popped in the East Bay Business Times, which is all that surfaced in what one might call mainstream media. But a biotech blog called PIMM published an item and included the scientific ranking of all the proposals. Attila Csordás, posting on PIMM, recommended reading the "WEAKNESSES" (their capitalization) section of the reviews of the grant proposals.

One web site aimed at the big money boys (venture capitalists) also carried a note on the announcement. VentureDeal unfortunately made an error in its item, saying that CIRM was "created by a $300 million general bond" instead of noting that CIRM has authorization for $3 billion in bond funding. (Actually similar errors are not uncommon in reports that we have read over the last two years.) The information on the grant proposals obviously would be useful to investors in the stem cell arena. It gives a quick overview of a number of new areas that some scientists believe are worth exploring including an evaluation of their public value (meaning to California – not as a public company).

Look for the mainline media to hit the actual grant awards next week pretty hard. It is a simple event to cover and will have considerable appeal to television with visuals and interviews with persons who could benefit from stem cell therapy. Freshness of the Congressional debate over stem cell research also will help drive the coverage. Stories will be dominated by numbers and names: How much and which institutions and individuals will be wallowing (sort of) in cash, thanks to a vote of the people more than two years ago. Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

  1. David,

    Thanks for pointing out my story error. I've corrected the original story to refer to a maximum $3 billion bond amount.

    Don Jones