Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More on Positive Feedback Loops at CIRM or "Them That Has Gets"

Last week, we wrote about whether "feeding the well-fed" would produce the kind of results desired by the California stem cell agency.

The starting point was an item by UC Davis stem cell researcher Paul Knoepfler who discussed on his blog the general grant-making process in the world of science. He said that the process rewards those who are already well-funded while greater impact could be had by refocusing on newer researchers.

Knoepfler subsequently pointed to an NIH piece that drew substantially the same conclusion based on its own study of grants.

Nature magazine also wrote about the piece by Jeremy Berg, director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, declaring that the
"...analysis plots the median number of publications between 2007 and mid-2010, and the median average impact factor of those publications, against total direct NIH funding in 2006. It covers 2,938 investigators, who were divided into 14 groups on the basis of their funding level.

"The resulting plot shows that both measures peaked at around US $750,000 in annual funding; at higher funding levels, the median publication number and average impact factor were both discernibly lower."
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