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Position Paper #2 - Picture this About ten scientists in a...

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Picture this. About ten scientists in a lab all working together to find what they are looking for. A cure, a cure to any one of the many cancers out there that still take away loved ones and destroy families. These scientists, or researchers, work around the clock, and it is because of funding that they can. Funding from regular citizens that send in money, to funding provided by different business corporations and the government. As of now, proposals are written to get research funding from the government. Though there are many ways to get funding from different corporations, or people, proposals are not required with those ways. A proposal should be more about why the funding is needed, not about politics, like it is. To better understand the federal funding situation with scientific and technical researchers, it is useful to look at some statistics surrounding it. For example, the National Institutes for Health (NIH) in 1975 funded 45%, where in 1990 only 23% was funded. 1 Another example is funding for medicines. Different companies will usually invest “more than 10 years and $800 million to bring new medicines to market” (Szabo 2). The operative word there is usually. Funding for medicines is found, yes, but only for adult medications. In the past ten years, there has been only one cancer drug that reached the market that was made for kids. That is because “drug companies are generally unwilling to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into such a small market” (2). Since people younger than 20 make up only about 12,400 of the 1.4 million cancer patients in America, it is looked as not worth it. In the 1990s, people were beginning to see different headlines like "Wariness Dampens 1980s Craze for Building University-Sponsored Technology Parks" and "Pitfalls of Research Parks Lead Universities and States to Reassess Their Expectations". 2 Over the last few decades, the commercialization of science around the world has dramatically increased. This has 1 Thanks to Brad Mehlenbacher and “The Rhetorical Nature of Academic Research Funding” for examples of funding. 2 Thanks to Brad Mehlenbacher “The Rhetorical Nature of Academic Research Funding” for newspaper headlines. 1
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happened because the results of “federally sponsored research” (CSPI 1) created new motivations for “scientists, clinician, and academic institutions” (1) to join forces with the business industry in an unique array of capitalist activities.
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