Posts Tagged ‘American Innovation’

The business of medicine…

August 24, 2014

In my previous blog I discussed the business of science  and why science itself is not,  and should never be, considered a business.  Today, as we see the widening Ebola epidemic spreading throughout West Africa I find myself thinking the same thing about medicine.

Medicine is not a business…

As in science,  there are businesses surrounding medicine.  Big pharma and biotech being far from the least among them.  As  I pointed out before, the science of pharma and biotech must not mix with the business unless you want to be buying hi-tech snake oil when you go to the pharmacy.

But there is another component here, often overlooked and currently underfunded even in developed nations:  the role of a strong public health program and the public funding for basic research.

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The business of science…

August 14, 2014

This blog is going to begin with a premise that I know will raise some eyebrows.  It is quite simply this:

Science is not a business…

To a scientist, this is obvious, but to business people I would expect howls of protest.  On the surface the  statement is counter-intuitive.   After all, entire industries are based on what science has discovered.  We have massive numbers of industrial laboratories that would indicate otherwise.  According to the WHO, the pharmaceutical industry is a $300 billion/year industry and growing rapidly.  So what do I mean by such a provocative  statement?

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Lessons From Game of Thrones – Players – Pawns & Market Chaos…

June 22, 2014

This is part 2 of 2 parts

In my previous post on “players vs. pawns”  I brought up a disturbing trend that I saw on a  YouTube comment thread.  The video was about the famous Little Finger monologue from season 3 of the series.  A disturbing number of people found this monologue “inspiring” and a metaphor for the acquisition of security and success in the United States today.  To say that this is deeply disturbing indicator of the state of our union is an understatement:   Once again – here is the monologue…

Chaos is a ladder.  Many who try to climb it fail, never get to try again.  The fall breaks them.  And some, given a chance to climb, they refuse.  They cling to the realm, or the Gods, or love.  Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.  – Littlefinger GOT – Season 3.

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Hiring collusions impacting engineers salaries? NO! Really???

March 3, 2014

Its all over the media.  There is a huge “skills-mismatch” in the US.  In spite of high unemployment, millions of jobs in the so-called “STEM”  (science, technology, engineering and math)  fields are going begging because employers can not get enough “qualified” Americans to fill those positions.

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The feasibility factor – when a wage-mismatch stifles STEM…

February 18, 2014

In a recent post, Jared Bernstein gave voice to an issue that I have long been concerned about:  the feasibility of many STEM career tracks.  With all the hand-wringing about STEM, the facts surrounding wage stagnation and even depression are being blithely ignored. Everyone is bemoaning the so-called “skills-mismatch” without considering whether the salaries being offered are commensurate or even doable given the required years and cost of training for these careers.  Education is expensive and the “numbers” have to work for people to even bother entering certain career tracks.

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When the wealth of a few jeopardizes the security of the many…

January 29, 2014

Raspberry & Mandarin cheesecakeThe President is making his State of the union address tonight. We have been told to look forward to a speech dominated by issue of “income inequality”.   A divisive issue – most certainly, but timely and long overdue as the centerpiece of  domestic policy.

In a recent column in the New York Times (The Inequality Problem)  David Brooks  indicated that targeting the obscene wealth of the top 1% might be a moot point since the wealth at the top, though massively higher than it was in the past, is not making the rest of the world poorer.  To that assumption, the most polite thing I can think to say is “horse hockey!”

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Six years into the great recession and…”We are not OK….”

January 7, 2014

Income inequality, the wealth gap, call it what you will, the problem is very real and is literally shredding the fabric of the  middle and working classes.  Progressives have coined the phrase “income inequality” to describe this destructive force.

Without trying to parse words too much, I think “wealth inequality would be a more comprehensive  definition of what is actually happening.  Either way neither description has that sound-bite “pop” that would capture the essence of this national tragedy.   Neither can come close to “class warfare”  which the republicans and tea baggers had the audacity to latch onto. Admittedly it was a brilliant stroke of political spin. They brazenly managed to take ownership of “class warfare” while they were launching  full scale nuclear Armageddon on the middle and working classes.

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Reaching for the pie instead of the sky…

September 25, 2013

Once upon a time, in a place called America, there was a thing called the American Dream.  A person growing up in that America knew that if they dared to dream and worked hard, their dream would become reality.  Secure in the knowledge that inspiration, hard work, tenacity and careful planning would lead to success, young Americans reached for the sky and even to the stars (remember Neil Armstrong).

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Consequences of the Sequester – an entire generation of American scientists could be lost…

September 8, 2013

Traditionally elections SHOULD have consequences, but in this case they did not. Obama’s strong victory in 2012 did nothing to stop  the draconian sequester cuts.   As far as the sequester goes, 2012 did nothing to stop the carnage.  But actions (or inaction in this case) always has consequences and we are seeing them now.

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Funding science in the US – A baby step in the right direction…

August 21, 2013

Last week Senator Tammy Baldwin (D. Wisconsin) said that she intends to sponsor a bill that would strengthen U.S. commitment to scientific research and innovation.   Sen. Baldwin said that she had become discouraged by the fact that the sequester was putting an entire generation of American scientists at risk.

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