|William Graeme Laver
former professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University in Canberra
The identification and funding of productive research scientists is a pressing concern. There seems to be an increasing tendency for administrators, politicians and commercial people to require that applicants for research funds spell out in some detail what it is they hope to discover. But to say you can predict what you are going discover is so absurd that no-one in their right mind would support such a concept. Nevertheless many people who apply for research funds must fulfil this ridiculous requirement. Scientists applying for grants should be judged on what they have discovered in the past, not on what they are going to discover in the future!