Among this year’s Nobel Prize Laureates is the Australian-American molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn, currently at UC San Francisco, for her work with Carol Greider and Jack Szostak on their work on telomeres and their role in protecting chromosomes. In the US, Blackburn is perhaps best known for being controversially dismissed from President George W. Bush’s Council on Bioethics after expressing support for embryonic stem cell research.
The Canadian physicist Williard Boyle, who won one of this year’s three Nobel Prizes in Physics for his co-invention of the imaging semiconductor circuit with George Smith, commented recently about the increasing tendency of governments to impose bureaucratic constraints on scientific research:
Dr. Boyle, who won the award with former colleague George Smith, warned that managers need to give scientists leeway to come up with the kinds of transformative inventions that are too often stifled by paperwork and red tape.
What scientists face today is “almost disgraceful … The bureaucrats want to get a hold of the money and ask for business plans. Now do you think that George Smith and I ever wrote a business plan? Not at all,” Dr. Boyle, now 85 and retired, told a reporter Tuesday. “You don’t have time to do that kind of baloney.”
Filed under: Honours