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A call for self-reflection in the biomedical research community

In an opinion piece for The Scientist, co-authors David Rubenson, associate director for administration and strategic planning at the Stanford Cancer Institute, and Paul Salvaterra, PhD, a professor of neuroscience at the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, argue for reform in biomedical research processes. Rubenson and Salvaterra propose that the research community commit to studying aspects of their field such as research funding, peer review, academic promotions and regulatory burdens.

From the piece:

The nation’s business schools concern themselves with financial, organizational, and cultural incentives in corporate and non-profit organizations. Government agencies employ numerous think tanks to evaluate long-term policies. There is, however, virtually no scholarly tradition for analyzing the biomedical research process. “One off” studies by the Institute of Medicine or the occasional ad hoc committees cannot substitute for a sustained program of research and analysis.

"The stakes are enormous," the authors write. "The [biomedical research] enterprise is too important, large, and complex to be governed casually and with little awareness of the factors shaping it."

Previously: NIH funding mechanism “totally broken,” says Stanford researcher, NIH re-thinking its rules on grant application submissions and Starting a new career in academic medicine? Here’s a bible for the bedside: The Academic Medicine Handbook

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