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4 thoughts on “Breakthrough Prize floors winners with sheer amount of money”

  1. But here’s the thing: these are PRIZES, not research grants. They cna buy a car and pay off the mortgage with these, as with a Nobel, Shaw, Gairdner Prize. Statements such as “a new source of funding for biomedical research”, “standard process of application and review to emerging labs, researchers, and initiatives”, “seem to be allowed to spend the money any way they want to,” implies that these are research grants, for their lab. They are not, they are cash prizes that accompany a recognition of success. So it has nothing more to do with “only awarding the top talent” than any other research prize, big money or not.

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    1. I think I just question the entire thing. I don’t think prizes were the best way to show support of life science research. According to the Guardian piece (and an older one abut the physics prize), they seem to think that showing that science can be glamorous and rewarding would motivate young scientists.

      It seems to suggest that they think that a lack of motivation or a lack of dreams is currently keeping people from going into the life sciences and pursuing the noble fight against various diseases, when in fact there are more people interested in working in biomedical research than there are currently positions for.

      I’m happy for the winners, and it’s a really great selection of people, but I don’t think anyone else became extra motivated to work harder on their own research with the dream of being one of the winners later. And even if they did, how WOULD they work harder when either they or their collaborators are having trouble just keeping their labs running?

      Related: “Philantropy: You’re Doing it Wrong”

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