Author Topic: What the heck is going on at universities??  (Read 20905 times)

SharperDingaan

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Re: What the heck is going on at universities??
« Reply #120 on: December 22, 2017, 09:09:50 PM »
Agreed it's not the best solution, but it drives at three of the big underlying issues ....

Canadian Cancer Society raising money to find the cure for cancer since 1938. Raised hundreds of millions over the years, but they must be hiring the most useless researchers in the world. 80 years later they still haven't found the cure, AND they don't have any patents on cures they have discovered? Fundamental flaws in research accountability to donors, but not unique to health care.

Extremely poor commercialization of basic research. Finding the cure for cancel is useless; if it's cost per treatment cannot be reduced down to something reasonable. Not unique to healthcare (occurs in tech as well), but it speaks to a system wide strategic inability to launch. We can hatch researchers in great numbers, but can't get them to leave 'home'.

Institutional disdain for the business minded, as research is 'for the benefit of all'. Pro's/con's to both sides, but the result is no decision and no change in the status quo. Problem is that the status quo doesn't work well outside of sleepy and 'closed' environments, and the world is forcing change. 

SD


doc75

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Re: What the heck is going on at universities??
« Reply #121 on: December 22, 2017, 10:09:58 PM »
Agreed it's not the best solution, but it drives at three of the big underlying issues ....

Canadian Cancer Society raising money to find the cure for cancer since 1938. Raised hundreds of millions over the years, but they must be hiring the most useless researchers in the world. 80 years later they still haven't found the cure, AND they don't have any patents on cures they have discovered? Fundamental flaws in research accountability to donors, but not unique to health care.

Extremely poor commercialization of basic research. Finding the cure for cancel is useless; if it's cost per treatment cannot be reduced down to something reasonable. Not unique to healthcare (occurs in tech as well), but it speaks to a system wide strategic inability to launch. We can hatch researchers in great numbers, but can't get them to leave 'home'.

Institutional disdain for the business minded, as research is 'for the benefit of all'. Pro's/con's to both sides, but the result is no decision and no change in the status quo. Problem is that the status quo doesn't work well outside of sleepy and 'closed' environments, and the world is forcing change. 

SD

It's not only not the "best" solution:  It could (and IMO very likely would) do incredible harm to progress in science and technology.

And I don't know where you work (I presume academics?), but I totally disagree that there is institutional disdain for the business minded.  I've worked at three universities (Canada) and each of them has become ever more obsessed with the business case for everything, including research (industrial/business partnerships, yada yada), even in cases where it makes absolutely no sense.  Sure there are plenty of researchers who don't want anything to do with it, but it's hardly an institutional bias these days.  They're practically begging for corporate sponsorships etc.

The ownership of IP from publicly-funded or donor-funded research is a big issue.  I don't know much about it, and things might now be more sane, but a friend of mine in the medical field forged a successful startup a number of years ago and had *lots* to say on the matter, none positive.  The gist was that all of this public/donor money supporting research never comes full circle:  If the research is successful, then it typically needs a big pharma partner to bring to commercialization, and the IP ends up being transferred for peanuts.  If the product comes to market, the taxpayer/donor pays a healthy margin on the product they helped develop.   If the research is unsuccessful, then the taxpayer/donor foots the loss.  I'm very curious to hear from anyone on here with more first-hand knowledge.

rukawa

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Re: What the heck is going on at universities??
« Reply #122 on: December 23, 2017, 06:03:50 PM »
Agreed it's not the best solution, but it drives at three of the big underlying issues ....

Canadian Cancer Society raising money to find the cure for cancer since 1938. Raised hundreds of millions over the years, but they must be hiring the most useless researchers in the world. 80 years later they still haven't found the cure, AND they don't have any patents on cures they have discovered? Fundamental flaws in research accountability to donors, but not unique to health care.

Extremely poor commercialization of basic research. Finding the cure for cancel is useless; if it's cost per treatment cannot be reduced down to something reasonable. Not unique to healthcare (occurs in tech as well), but it speaks to a system wide strategic inability to launch. We can hatch researchers in great numbers, but can't get them to leave 'home'.

Institutional disdain for the business minded, as research is 'for the benefit of all'. Pro's/con's to both sides, but the result is no decision and no change in the status quo. Problem is that the status quo doesn't work well outside of sleepy and 'closed' environments, and the world is forcing change. 

SD

The problem to me is not that its not business minded enough...quite the opposite. Its too much like business. Its hierarchical, corporate and bureaucratic with middle age men directing everything. Exactly like a corporation. Researchers are doing exactly what is done by directors in corporations ... they are trying to increase the size of their teams.

What you really want to do is fund people who are good. And fund them when they are young and coming up with new ideas. All you might want to do beyond that is have small highly selective conferences to bring these guys together.

The greatest example of that is this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelter_Island_Conference

I don't really get why we are having a debate about this. We already know how good research is done. Look at the Manhattan project, Shelter Island Conference, Bell Labs, Xerox Parc. The formula is simple:

1) Smart young people
2) A tonne of freedom in deciding research direction
3) interesting problems from the industry, millitary
4) Time, space and at most some help from expert technicians who know how to build things.

clutch

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Re: What the heck is going on at universities??
« Reply #123 on: December 24, 2017, 06:48:34 AM »
I can attest to how business-minded universities are...

I work in R&D department of a company and we were trying to collaborate with a university prof's research group. However, their university legal office made such unreasonable demands that we couldn't get a research agreement and failed in proceeding further. In other cases, it took several months of negotiation between the university and our lawyers to agree on the terms.

Nowadays, whenever an academic researcher approaches us for possible collaboration, I tell them right away that IP issues could be pain in the ass and I'm just hesitant to get into any formal collaboration. Basically, universities trying to protect their IPs actually is making it more difficult for profs to collaborate with private industries, IMO.

Then there are profs who create their own companies on the side while they are getting paid by the university, working on technologies directly related to the research that are funded by public money... In a way they are getting the best of both worlds - the safety blanket working as a government worker (for those tenured) AND free money toward their entrepreneurship. It's basically a risk-free entrepreneurship. I don't know, but there is something wrong with this picture as well.

SharperDingaan

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Re: What the heck is going on at universities??
« Reply #124 on: December 24, 2017, 09:29:37 AM »
University mandates are to produce basic research that others commercialize. Taxes on the commercialized product provides the funding for the next round of research; the more successful the commercialization is, the lower the tax burden, and the greater the value-add to the economy as a whole. Produce sh1te, and you get sh1te. The better you are at commercialization, the more the overall economy benefits.

Where the researcher owns the IP, the obvious solution is to commercialize privately.
The problem is that the typical skill set of a researcher is not the skill set of a CEO; and the researcher isn't into learning new skills, or listening to the business people they may have hired ('cause the 'guru' knows everything). A problem that often causes friction for DBA's, who typically do have the CEO skill set - and are often successful at commercialization. 

Ultimately it's a mindset thing.
Don't rail against the system, but rather position yourself to benefit from its strengths and weaknesses. You opinion really isn't relevant - your actions are.

SD


rukawa

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Re: What the heck is going on at universities??
« Reply #125 on: March 30, 2018, 11:11:57 AM »
Turns out that going to Mars in a rocketship is identical to sexually assaulting women. You learn something new everyday:
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/patriarchal-race-colonize-mars-just-another-example-male-entitlement-ncna849681

Note that the article is posted at NBC.

Courtesy of the communications manager at Clayman Insitute for Gender Research at Standford:
http://gender.stanford.edu/
« Last Edit: March 30, 2018, 11:14:49 AM by rukawa »

flesh

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Re: What the heck is going on at universities??
« Reply #126 on: May 30, 2018, 11:22:10 AM »
Turns out that going to Mars in a rocketship is identical to sexually assaulting women. You learn something new everyday:
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/patriarchal-race-colonize-mars-just-another-example-male-entitlement-ncna849681

Note that the article is posted at NBC.

Courtesy of the communications manager at Clayman Insitute for Gender Research at Standford:
http://gender.stanford.edu/

HOLY WTF. lol so weird.

Yin and yang man...dark and light.... satan god.... this isn't difficult.

rkbabang

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Re: What the heck is going on at universities??
« Reply #127 on: May 30, 2018, 12:27:04 PM »
Turns out that going to Mars in a rocketship is identical to sexually assaulting women. You learn something new everyday:
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/patriarchal-race-colonize-mars-just-another-example-male-entitlement-ncna849681

Note that the article is posted at NBC.

Courtesy of the communications manager at Clayman Insitute for Gender Research at Standford:
http://gender.stanford.edu/

HOLY WTF. lol so weird.

Yin and yang man...dark and light.... satan god.... this isn't difficult.

Don't forget that men are trying to destroy the Earth because it "affects women more than men".

cameronfen

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Re: What the heck is going on at universities??
« Reply #128 on: June 30, 2018, 01:29:38 PM »
Honestly I am as guilty as anyone else, but all these click bait stories are like the 1 in 1000000 that paint the othe side as rediculous.  It's the same for liberals where they post the story of that one trump supporter who says, lets not stop at seperating kids and parents into seperate detention facilities but lets see what we can get out of them with enhanced interogation.  These stories aren't actually repersentative of the other side and only increase polarization.