Augment Breasts or Fight Disease?

Child with “Romaña’s sign”, a swelling caused by the bite of an infected assassin bug

Why fund research when you can fund a rack?

TO:  Richard D Lerner, DVM, MPH

RE:  (name of proposal redacted)

Dear Dr. Lerner:

Thank you for your pre-proposal submission referenced above.  Morris Animal Foundation’s (MAF) Large Animal Scientific Advisory Board has reviewed it carefully, however, at this time MAF will not request a full proposal submission.

During these difficult economic times, MAF trustees have challenged us to reduce spending while continuing to fund excellent science and diverse animal health issues with the greatest relevance.  MAF received almost 140 pre-proposals for large animal research this year and funds are available to cover only a fraction of these.  As a result fewer full proposals will be reviewed.  MAF is, however, fervently committed to fund-raising so more high quality and high relevance health studies can be reviewed and approved in the future.

It is always difficult to advise a prospective investigator that a pre-proposal was declined.  We do not do it lightly.  Please keep in mind you are welcome to re-submit a declined pre-proposal, up to two times (three total submissions). Unfortunately, due to the high volume of pre-proposals received, we are not able to provide written evaluations to investigators at the pre-proposal stage.

Thank you again for submitting your pre-proposal and for your dedication to improving the lives of animals.


Tobie McPhail

Director-Scientific Programs and Advancement

Morris Animal Foundation

The begging for research dollars racket is so bad that one often has to write “pre-proposals”, that is, request permission to beg.

I guess it’s a good idea, in the sense that researchers don’t waste time writing proposals that haven’t a snowball’s chance in Lima of getting approved. Being a researcher means as much, if not more, about writing convincing proposals as it does of coming up with novel insights into pressing problems.

So, imagine my disappointment (I would rate it as moderate on the middle-age distress scale, mild being the annoyance one has at losing yet another pair of glasses and severe is hearing bad news about the health of a friend or relative, or trying, as I did tonight, to see if I could watch Hannity for more than 10 minutes) at learning that yet another idea would either have to be tabled or wait for another day.

Now compound that disappointment with this:

This is actually a front funding malaria research

That’s right, while me and 140 others were asking to merely have the opportunity to have our proposals rejected, other generous men were donating their hard-earned (or easily inherited) lucre so that some anonymous chick they will never meet can have a bigger pair of kazongas.

And the website takes a cool 20%.

Thank you, RW, JD, for getting me back to this.


One response to “Augment Breasts or Fight Disease?

  1. Interesting how you never told me to read this enty in your blog!

    I whole heartedly support both funding for research and breast augmentation.

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