Thought of the Day

Dec 10 2016 Published by under Academics, Ennui, General Politics

Take care of yourself and your family first, folks. The next four years are going to be a bumpy ride for decent people.

Secure your situation. Take the job, take the money. Hunker down. 

I really hate to say this but lab-wise it might be time to trim the sails too. Play for no-cost extensions of that grant, no telling what the glorious future of Precision Medicine Initiatives, BRAINI and the like holds for regular R01 budgets. 

34 responses so far

  • OlympiasEpiriot says:

    And don't fill out any questionnaires from the White House?

  • potnia theron says:

    And if you are in a position where you can look out for others... in science or profession or life, remember those who looked out for you when you were a grub, and help those you can.

  • wally says:

    And whether research on immigrants, LGBTQ+ people, abortion and contraception, climate change, etc. will be allowed.

  • genomicrepairman says:

    Yeah we are definitely backing off any major purchases in the lab, pairing down animal colonies, and beginning austerity measures as we head into the last two years of our grant. To do anything otherwise would probably be foolish.

  • WH says:

    Any chance this prediction is better than your others concerning Trump?

    e.g. http://drugmonkey.scientopia.org/2016/06/08/thought-of-the-day-45/

  • qaz says:

    It is really important now that we are good to each other, that we look out for each other. The first thing I did after the election is I assured my very frightened lab members that I would make sure there was a safe space for them.

  • jason says:

    tone down the drama, divas.

  • mnm says:

    and i'm planning on turning down a job offer today... is this a sign?

  • Jmz4 says:

    I'm shifting my research focus to male pattern baldness, as I anticipate it will be an area of critical interest in the next 4-8 years.

  • Bagger Vance says:

    Luckily i'm deplorable though.

    good call jason! jfc with the doomsday scenarios. How much power do you all think a president has? Were you only happy with that when your party was in office?

    Isn't it possible the economy could improve and that would improve or maintain funding? Magic 8-ball says "ask again later".

  • jmz4 says:

    "How much power do you all think a president has?"
    -The President has extraordinary power over the NIH budget and how it is administered. I don't think biomedical researches should be as worried as, say, climate scientists, but if the Republicans cut the non-defense discretionary budget, NIH will probably be in for another long freeze in funding.

  • qaz says:

    Budget-wise NIH will be fine. Remember Reagan? He tried to cut the NIH budget until Big-Pharma told him not to. The corporations that hold the keys to the administration need NIH to do their free research for them. But the climate-studies at NASA, NOAA, and DOE are toast. The moonbase is probably a go, unless Gingrich loses favor with the politburo, but far robotic studies of the moons of Saturn and extra-solar planets are probably in trouble. The Mars teams will go private under Lord Elon's corporate largesse. NSF may well be in trouble, but Biden's cancer "moonshot" (really only a thousandth of a moonshot) will be funded.

    The problem isn't budgets. (At least in the short term. In the long-term the anti-communitarian, selfish, you're-on-your-own without a safety-net policies will be problems for economics and the budgets, but that's decades not years. Again, see Reagan.) The problem is that the next four years are going to be a bumpy ride for many decent people. So what we need to do now is look out for each other, help each other, speak up when you see misbehavior, and make sure we don't let the bastards get us down.

  • sel says:

    I'm waiting for Trump to appoint Lamar Smith as head of the NSF. Wouldn't surprise me in the least.

  • AcademicLurker says:

    Elizabeth Holmes should be his obvious choice for head of the FDA.

  • JL says:

    "Isn't it possible the economy could improve and that would improve or maintain funding?"
    Republicans spout this often. The fact that it never turns out to be true for anyone but the Exxon's is irrelevant.

    It's unbelievable that people who ostensibly believe in evidence keep writing this.

  • Dave says:

    Heading for an unfunded period (salary wise) for the first time in many years next year. Not good timing, but I have good local support and hope I can land something ASAP. Just adds to the sense of trepidation and it's become hard to celebrate the victories (ie papers, pilot grants) at the moment for all kinds of reasons. To hear you say this DM concerns me even more.....

  • drugmonkey says:

    Good luck Dave and sorry that I'm increasing your concerns.

  • imager says:

    He is appointing people towhead many agencies whose main goal was to get rid of that very agency, e.g. in case of DOE and EPA. Or folks who's qualification is that they once lived in public housing... He is not attending security briefings because he thinks he is smart. He knows our adversaries better he thinks then his generals. His security advisers are ultra right. KKK endorsed him. Certain religious groups are being singled out. Gee, that sounds vaguely familiar. 1938 anyone...?

  • Dave says:

    Cheers DM. I think we'll all need some luck

  • Bagger Vance says:

    Okay JL, you explain to me how an ostensible third term of same-old plus more identity politics was going to help generate cash flow. Once again, this election was a repudiation of globalist policies going back several cycles. So yes, we have noticed that just letting jobs go overseas while importing unskilled labor has flattened the middle class. But both parties were part of that.

    And thanks, imager! No -one had made the Hitler connection yet! Innovation score 10/10.

  • JL says:

    Bagger Vance, whether an alternative candidate was a better choice or not is irrelevant to the point you made (it was). Cutting taxes to the rich does not generate more tax dollars or jobs other than in the luxury industry. Historically, it has never worked to put a fascist in power to make life better for the people in the long run.

    This is not 1938. In 1938 there were several empires, in decline (Britain and France) or in ascent (USA and USSR) to stop the Germans. Also, the Germans didn't have nuclear weapons.

  • eeke says:

    My mother just asked for a 4-year supply of weed. Needed by Jan. 20th. And it's not legal in her state yet.

  • drugmonkey says:

    I can't agree that staying lit for four years is taking care of yourself, eeke.

  • Bagger Vance says:

    Nice to see you admit you have no answers beyond Naziphobia, JL, and your only economic observation is that rich people pay taxes (the candidate of which most of the rich for some reason supported). Truly it may be time to "give it a chance. What have you got to lose?"

    Surely, surely if you keep screaming "fascist" at everyone to your right, the next elections will go your way. Keep up the good work!

    (I must say, by comparison to many DM seems pretty equanimous these days, nice to see.)

  • drugmonkey says:

    I am situated in a variety of ways that insulate me from much of what is likely to occur in the next four years BV. Others are not so fortunate.

  • JL says:

    "What have you got to lose?". Of all the answers Trumpians give, that one is among the most ridiculous.

    You think you won the election? we all lost, you just haven't realized it. You will find out what you got to lose.

  • A Salty Scientist says:

    Truly it may be time to "give it a chance. What have you got to lose?"

    I undestand that many people in the US are hurting and desperately want change. But, socioeconomic changes are a feature and not a bug of capitalism. Jobs and skills will inevitably become obsolete, and short of draconian measures, will not return. This sucks for the people affected, and there are no easy solutions. But, things can almost always get worse.

    For some people though, the last decade has inspired hope. In many ways, people in the US are more free than at any point in history. Those who have been historically marginalized and have made recent gains certainly feel that there is a lot to lose.

  • Ewan says:

    "Take care of yourself and your family first, folks. The next four years are going to be a bumpy ride for decent people.

    Secure your situation. Take the job, take the money. Hunker down."

    All but that last. Don't hunker down: Stand up. Especially if you have tenure: stand up, be a point of outspoken defiance against intolerance and hate. Remember Burke's aphorism.

    See you all in DC, Jan 21..

  • Bagger Vance says:

    Thanks for leaving my response in the spam filter, DM.

    Did any of you notice that life expectancy for red-state white males in the last decade or so has declined? Did any of you submit grants to explore that? Did any of you care? What is the point of focusing on "historic marginalization" to present-day marginalization?

    (JL, in particular, has lost, i must say. Lost bigly.)

  • WH says:

    ITT: People who didn’t see the election result coming - even days ahead of time - telling us exactly how the next four years will go down.

  • AcademicLurker says:

    Did any of you notice that life expectancy for red-state white males in the last decade or so has declined?

    I believe that when people looked more closely at the data, the decline was due mostly to white females. And it wasn't in red states generally, but specifically the South.

  • A Salty Scientist says:

    From my quick reading, the decline for white males is due to an increase in suicide and substance abuse. Which is a big deal, and we as a country need to deal with mental health issues much better than we do now. But context is also important. Despite the decline, black men still have by far the lowest life expectancy in this country.

  • jmz4 says:

    "Did any of you notice that life expectancy for red-state white males in the last decade or so has declined? Did any of you submit grants to explore that? "
    -Yes, e.g. https://projectreporter.nih.gov/Reporter_Viewsh.cfm?sl=12EBCB03478AC5D27598B8961CAA4A01A2FFCEB861BF

    "ITT: People who didn’t see the election result coming - even days ahead of time - telling us exactly how the next four years will go down."
    That's not a great equivalence to make. Forecasting the outcome of a presidential election from a faulty data-set is not the same as anticipating the effects of policies that have been enacted before, for which there is data and which can be logically extrapolated.

    That being said, the congressional republicans seem pretty committed to the NIH budget, and I don't see it being an issue that Trump is going to care that much about.

  • JL says:

    "Did any of you notice that life expectancy for red-state white males in the last decade or so has declined?"

    Yes, which is one of the reason we support the EPA. People should not have to suffer coal deregulation and death by lung cancer. Yet, loonies like BV ask what you have to lose.

    You think that poor health services, addiction and suicide in red-states is going to improve with deregulation and lack of health insurance? It would be funny, if it wasn't tragic.

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