More on grant proposals on stem cell research at CIRM
Tuesday's announcement of the scores on the first-ever research grants to be awarded by the California stem cell agency received virtually no media attention.
A brief note popped in the East Bay Business Times, which is all that surfaced in what one might call mainstream media. But a biotech blog called PIMM published an item and included the scientific ranking of all the proposals. Attila Csordás, posting on PIMM, recommended reading the "WEAKNESSES" (their capitalization) section of the reviews of the grant proposals.
Of the analogy to NSF, one notes:
Thus, CIRM made the analogy when convenient, but does not actually conform to the analogy to federal granting agencies. Similarly, any analogy between Proposition 71 and the Bayh-Dole Act is without merit.
On a separate, but not unrelated, point, a reporter has stated that a Jan 29 post is a cheap shot. The January 29 post linked to an earlier post, which was critical of a report in the Sacramento Bee. One notes that the reporter is aware of the issues raised in the 26 Aug 06 post, has no answer to the criticism, but (apparently) has made no correction, so that readers of the Sacramento Bee will assume the article in the Bee is accurate.
If IPBiz is correct, the work by ACT published in 2006 will NEVER be used to invalidate patents issued to WARF prior to 2006.
Why does this matter? One reason may be found in californiastemcellreport, wherein the report made reference to a study on publicity surrounding Proposition 71, which study relied on NEWSPAPER reports (not on journal articles or "refereed" publications). If uncorrected errors concerning stem cell research remain in newspapers, later academic studies which rely on the truth of the newspapers are seriously compromised.
Californiastemcellreport concluded the post:
The text (in the Hamilton piece) --while he still believes the economic benefits of stem-cell research could be 'quite large,' Baker also describes the report as merely 'one possible version of how things might happen.' -- is similar to statements made by Douglas J. Feith about the so-called alternative intelligence assessments on the possible Iraq and Al Qaeda relationship. Feith issued a memo which disagreed with CIA opinions in an area of fact othat was a bit difficult to analyze. Baker's analysis failed to incorporate legal issues (e.g., research exemption, issues with use of tax-free bonds) in addition to projecting an overly optimistic view of possible patent royalties.
One IPBiz reader noted: I think your updates are quite cogent....but who is listening?? After all, there are careers to be made, undergrads to educate, PhDs to grant....all over stuff with about as much "utility" as xenon chemistry.
IPBiz notes that the near-term commercialization prospects for human SCNT are most likely poor, and that training of scientists may be the most likely short-term benefit of Proposition 71 funding.
Leaving aside what California taxpayers will, and will not, receive for the $3 billion, IPBiz is concerned about the misrepresentations made PRIOR TO the vote. There was a great imbalance in funding between pro- and anti- Proposition 71 forces, and the newspapers in California did not step up to the plate to evaluate objectively various assertions.