From Chemjobber yesterday, this gem (in response to a post about the Army Research Laboratory offering a $100,000 (!!!!!) postdoctoral position):
“At least it isn’t being spent to do industry’s research for free (especially when they escape so much tax already). Something about people bending over backwards to “work with industry” or “demonstrate industrial relevance” on NIH/NSF projects while industry continues to downsize-to-nothing internal R&D boils my blood. Do your own god damn research.”
THIS. This. A thousand times this.
I’m honestly surprised that more people aren’t up in arms about the current state of R&D in the United States. Companies here, especially big pharmaceutical companies, are all attempting inversion mergers in order to evade US corporate tax rates, but still want the benefits of NIH/NSF funding and a supply of cheap, well-trained labor on the government’s dime.
The model of pharmaceutical R&D seems to have shifted over the last decade or so; now, a lot of drug discovery research is done by startups rather than Big Pharma, and if any of the leads in the libraries of the startups is particularly promising, they get bought out by a Big Pharma company. Big Pharma gets all the benefits without the cost or the risks of doing research. I emphasize that last statement to highlight the ludicrousness of the situation; companies based on doing research don’t want to do research any more. This is also leading to another nascent bubble in startups and VC-funded companies, which I will talk more about later.