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Top U.S. Scientific Misconduct Official Quits In Frustration With Bureaucracy 172

Posted by timothy
from the an-exit-interview-I'd-like-to-overhear dept.
sandbagger writes "The director of the U.S. government office that monitors scientific misconduct in biomedical research has resigned after 2 years out of frustration with the 'remarkably dysfunctional' federal bureaucracy. Officials at the Office of Scientific Integrity spent 'exorbitant amounts of time' in meetings and generating data and reports to make their divisions look productive, David Wright writes. He huge amount of time he spent trying to get things done made much of his time at ORI 'the very worst job I have ever had.'"
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Top U.S. Scientific Misconduct Official Quits In Frustration With Bureaucracy

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  • Re:Been there. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kilfarsnar (561956) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @10:56AM (#46473357)

    We're so productive, but *what* are we producing and for *who*?

    Great post. That's the million dollar question, right there. We certainly are propping up an outdated socio-economic system. But powerful people retain their power through this system. That's the obstacle I see. Otherwise we could all be working much less, have full employment and much more time for personal pursuits.

  • Re:Been there. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CaptSlaq (1491233) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @11:26AM (#46473607)

    We're so productive, but *what* are we producing and for *who*?

    Great post. That's the million dollar question, right there. We certainly are propping up an outdated socio-economic system. But powerful people retain their power through this system. That's the obstacle I see. Otherwise we could all be working much less, have full employment and much more time for personal pursuits.

    Your "outdated socio-economic system" is someone else's "reality". While we are rapidly eliminating jobs for people on the left side of whatever IQ test you wish to use, we still have to pay people for food and to build stuff. When we automate THOSE jobs, we'll STILL have to pay for the energy production, energy usage, and maintenance of said automation, energy production and energy distribution.

    "Powerful people" aren't the problem. Energy and materials science is. Until energy production and transmission is zero cost, or close enough to it that it becomes an advertising expense, the leisure society isn't going to happen. I also don't believe that "Powerful people" are hiding the near zero cost energy production silver bullet. To speculate that it is so leads down the dark hole of conspiracy. Near zero cost energy not going to be in my lifetime, and probably not in my child's either. If the NIF (or any of its analogs) produce a self-sustaining fusion reaction, that will be tipping point. The materials science problem is nearly taken care of, but said materials (Iconel, among others) are too expensive and (again) energy intensive to produce in large quantities.

    There is speculation that if we actually get to the zero cost for energy society, mankind will inadvertently self-exterminate. I can see this being a very real possibility.

  • Re:Been there. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 50000BTU_barbecue (588132) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @11:53AM (#46473879) Homepage Journal
    My parents had a washing machine, television, radio, a car, a house, heating, food from a supermarket, paved roads, clean drinking water, municipal waste collection, etc... All this with one salary for a blue collar job with decent job security, benefits and a pension plan. That's what I'm talking about.

    I'd gladly trade your "instant communications" (of mostly trivial garbage) for that. I walked to the library then, I can still do it now. I just don't understand why we accept diminishing returns for all these technologies except for a few people on top. Because they deserve it. Sure.

    But I'm talking nonsense.

  • Parkinson's Law (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tomhath (637240) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @11:53AM (#46473883)
    Government exemplifies Parkinson's Law [wikipedia.org]. With essentially unlimited resources (just raise taxes) the bureaucracy can expand indefinitely until all "work" being done is perpetuating the bureaucracy and nothing useful is accomplished.
  • Re:Been there. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday March 13, 2014 @12:22PM (#46474131) Homepage Journal

    Your "outdated socio-economic system" is someone else's "reality".

    The reality is that as worker productivity has increased by orders of magnitude, worker pay adjusted for inflation has decreased sharply. There's no defense for that.

An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. -- James Michener, "Space"

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