No reform -- imposed from the top, or emerging from the bottom -- will be successful as long as academics in Canada continue to participate in the failed folly that is the existing research grant system. We need leadership from Canadian academics themselves, and scholars will need to be brave.
Richard Gordon, PhD
Dr. Richard Gordon is a theoretical biologist just retired from the University of Manitoba, was in biosystems engineering, botany, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, obstetrics and gynecology, pathology, physics, radiology and zoology, and has published on algal biofuels, breast cancer detection, diatom nanotechnology, embryo physics, grant systems, HIV/AIDS prevention and origin of life. He is now establishing the Embryogenesis Center at the Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory.
At its best, peer review ensures published findings in academic papers are based on scholarship that is meaningful, relevant, and credible. At its worst, peer review is slow, expensive, and nowhere near impartial. The problem is that peer review has been shown to re-institute orthodoxy as new discoveries.
12/11/2011 12:50 EST
Over time, hiring, promotion and tenure committees have favoured grant writers and grantsmanship over other perhaps more creative and innovative scholars who don't toe the line. There are serious consequences when, as in the current system, you invest in projects and not people.
11/21/2011 12:20 EST
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW