Friday, July 25, 2008

Don't knock it ...

... until you know all the details. If I told you that I did research on snow fleas, would you be impressed? Probably not. If I told you that this work was paid for by your tax paying dollars, would you be upset? Probably so.

Why? Because I doubt you would make the connection as to why work on snow fleas would be of use to you and me.

This is the problem with "sound bytes". If someone told you "Hey, the NIH is funding work on snow fleas." you'd be annoyed. That's keeping money from important work on Alzheimer's, cancer, heart disease, infection diseases, etc. But, while you may be annoyed/upset/pissed, it still doesn't explain/answer why the NIH would be funding such work (if it was ... I don't know if this work is funded by the NIH, NSF, or any other group).

So, instead of being outraged ... ask questions. Like "If this is being funded by the National Institutes of Health, where is the connection?" If you ask questions like that, you'd most likely find a suitable answer.

In this case, certain proteins in the snow flea may be useful for preserving organs prior to transplantation. This research will save lives, and as far as I am concerned (and you should be too) it'll be money well spent.

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