Rescuing Biomedical Research: The Path Ahead
From ATS Video on March 7th, 2015
Distressed by the perverse incentives that have generated the current hyper-competitive biomedical research environment in the United States, Dr. Alberts and three colleagues -- Marc W. Kirschner, Shirley Tilghman, and Harold Varmus -- published an open-access article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences entitled, "Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws." Despite widespread agreement concerning the problems, the authors argue, any substantial change in the system is bound to be controversial. For this reason they believe experiments are needed. In a recently published follow-up piece, "Opinion: Addressing systemic problems in the biomedical research enterprise," the authors announced the formation of a steering committee to oversee a new website designed to collect suggestions for actions ameliorating the identified problems, as well as to identify promising changes that are either under way or proposed. They are encouraging other groups to contribute to this effort. In his talk, Dr. Alberts outlines some possible ideas for overcoming the inertia that prevents progress. Dr. Alberts was joined by a panel composed of UC Davis faculty, postdocs, and graduate students.