I hate the Innovation criterion in NIH proposals. And I know I'm not alone. Many of my colleagues spend an undue amount of time working on that one little section. Even though we all know it's not weighted all that heavily (as opposed to Approach for example). It is however a target for the easiest of stock critiques. I understand the NIH wants to drive the creation of innovative methods/approaches/systems/bear tranquilizers, but that seemed to happen in abundance before they introduced it as a criterion. And there's a ton of stuff we need to know/do that doesn't require no stinking innovation to get at.
Or maybe I just suck at putting together the Innovation section.
I have the honor of having been visited by the internet's bluebird of ... happiness, the one and only MyTChondria. The following is a guest post from her:
Tuesday had to be a rough day in Mehmet Oz’s media complex. Congress critters took out the daytime talk show host for promoting dietary supplements for weight loss. Senator McCaskill took a giant bite out of Mehmet’s yoga toned arse after years of glossy videos of fat cells being ‘grabbed’ up by green coffee beans and other swill. For those who want the blow by blow, I defer to Peter Lipson, longtime thorn in the groin of Oz Media Machine. Dr. Lipson does an excellent play-by-play analysis over on his blog at Forbes.
Oz plead no contest. At one point, he said his job on the show “is as a cheerleader for the audience”. Which is odd, because I have yet to see his show entitled “Mehmet Oz, Cheerleader”. I believe it’s still called “Dr. Oz”. And that is where Mehmet and his half-wit production team have lost themselves. Cheerleaders aren’t medical professionals.
As your friendly neighborhood guest blogger, I’m here to help you, Mehmet, with a Five Step Miracle Cure for your current woes.
1. Fire your production team. All of them. Bad ones put these shows together. Others should have told you not to do them.
2. Hire scientists, clinicians and trained psychologists. It turns out that science is woefully underfunded in the US, so you could probably pick up some for quite a steal.
3. Read some papers from peer reviewed journals.
4. Take a few field trips to labs and talk to people working on diabetes and other diseases.
5. Pour your production into making medical science easier for the public to understand.
You’ll find there are, dare I say, miraculous, breakthroughs every day in health care and science. The body is an amazing complex machine and smart dedicated people are hunkered down doing real work fighting terrible diseases. Bring their discoveries to light. And finally, forget your shtick of pretending the impossible is possible. It makes your viewers worse than ignorant. It makes them wrong.
When you’ve done all those things, and start acting like a doctor, I’ll stop rolling my eyes and groaning every time I hear you referred to as “Dr” Oz.
Administrators that think adjunct faculty are a good idea.
Dinosaur graybeards who maintain the status quo.
Faculty who haven't updated their teaching in fifteen years.
Faculty who won't admit academia and the research funding situation have changed dramatically, and continue to do so rapidly.
Faculty who only train future faculty.
Faculty who treat department staff like dirt.
Faculty who treat their lab personnel like dirt.
Postdocs who think they've got it all figured out.
Grad students who think a PhD is a given.
The third reviewer.
I've barely scratched the surface with the above. Go hog wild in the comments.
People who drive in the left lane on the highway at or below the speed of people driving in the right lane.
People who hold prolonged conversations in front of the coffee pot.
People who get to the front of a long line at the coffee shop/food place and then take their time deciding what to order.
People who don't use turn signals.
People who take carry on bags on board the plane when the bags clearly aren't going to fit anywhere.
People who reply to listserv emails asking to unsubscribe.
People who reply to people who reply to listserv emails asking to unsubscribe.
Feel free to add you own in the comments. A version of this especially for academia is coming soon, so you may want to hold off on relevant comments until then.