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CAUT Bulletin Archives

March 2009

Ourselves to blame

We were surprised that Penni Ste­wart (President's Column, Bulletin, December 2008), having detailed the secrecy with which Canadian granting agencies are established and governed, implied this was by choice of government, past and pre­sent. On the contrary, we think we academics have ourselves to blame, for not insisting on democratic granting agencies, which, after all, we “run” through our non-elected positions on grant councils.

One way to achieve equality — which may be the key to actually funding basic research, unfettered by peer review — is by uniform distribution of research funds. With a 70 per cent Discovery Grant ap­proval rate, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Coun­cil of Ca­na­da is leading the way world­wide towards what could readily become 100 per cent.* In such a funding environment, basic research should flourish.

Richard Gordon
University of Manitoba

Bryan Poulin
Business Administration
Lakehead University

*Gordon, R. & B.J. Poulin (2009). Cost of the NSERC science grant peer review system exceeds the cost of giving every qualified researcher a baseline grant. Accountability in Research: Policies and Quality Assurance 16(1): 1–28.

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