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Posts tagged with "Who Discovers and Why"

  • Who Discovers and Why

    Another Conservation Law

    As long as there’s been organized scientific research – that is, more than one person working on a problem – there have been timeline disconnects. Something takes longer than expected, throwing everything off, usually. That’s the basic disconnect, and there are ways to deal with it, but there’s a larger one that I don… Read More
  • Who Discovers and Why

    Peter Thiel’s Book

    Wavefunction has a good look at Peter Thiel’s Zero to One. As he puts it, “Thiel has said some odd things about chemistry and biotech before, so I was bracing myself for encountering some naiveté in his book.” I don’t blame him; I’d be the same way. But it wasn’t quite as bad as he… Read More
  • Drug Development

    What Are the Odds of Finding a Drug (And How Do You Stand Them?)

    Lisa Jarvis of C&E News asked a question on Twitter that’s worth some back-of-the-envelope calculation: what are the odds of a medicinal chemist discovering a drug during his or her career? And (I checked) she means “personally synthesizing the compound that makes it to market”. My own hand-waving guesstimate of an upper boun… Read More
  • Academia (vs. Industry)

    The State of US Medical Research

    Here’s a look at the state of medical research in the US versus other developed countries (open-access article at JAMA). Some things to note from that chart: (1) research funding has been pretty flat the last few years, with the only exception being the stimulus-package burst of cash. (2) The share of the total put… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Peter Thiel’s Uncomplimentary Views of Big Pharma

    See what you think of Peter Thiel’s characterization of the drug industry in this piece for Technology Review. Thiel’s a very intelligent guy, and his larger points about technology stalling out make uncomfortable reading, in the best sense. (The famous quote is “We wanted flying cars; instead we got 140 characters”). But ta… Read More
  • The Scientific Literature

    The NIH Takes a Look At How the Money’s Spent

    The NIH is starting to wonder what bang-for-the-buck it gets for its grant money. That’s a tricky question at best – some research takes a while to make an impact, and the way that discoveries can interact is hard to predict. And how do you measure impact, by the way? These are all worthy questions… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Drug Discovery in India

    Molecular biologist Swapnika Ramu, a reader from India, sends along a worthwhile (and tough) question. She says that after her PhD (done in the US), her return to India has made her “less than optimistic” about the current state of drug discovery there. (Links in the below quote have been added by me, not her: Read More
  • Who Discovers and Why

    NIH Taking on More RIsk?

    You’d have to think that this is at least a step in the right direction: “NIH to experiment with high-risk grants”: On 5 December, agency director Francis Collins told an advisory committee that the NIH should consider supporting more individual researchers, as opposed to research proposals as it does now — an idea inspired in… Read More
  • In Silico

    Standards of Proof

    Here are some slides from Anthony Nicholls of OpenEye, from his recent presentation here in Cambridge on his problems with molecular dynamics calcuations. Here’s his cri du coeur (note: fixed a French typo from the original post there): . . .as a technique MD has many attractive attributes that have nothing to do with its… Read More
  • Who Discovers and Why

    Organizing Research

    Here’s an article in Angewandte Chemie that could probably have been published in several other places, since it’s not specifically about chemistry. It’s titled “The Organization of Innovation – The History of an Obsession”, from Caspar Hirschi at St. Gallen in Switzerland, and it’s a look at how both indus… Read More
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