Great Zerhouni Q&A Session

The Chronicle hosted a live Q&A session with the Great Zerhouni on Tuesday, Dec 4 and posted the Q&As posted here , such that they are… congrats to Whimple aka human taxpayer/researcher, major state university on getting his question answered. Or not.



  1. PhysioProf said

    Here’s my question for GZ: “I can has cheezburger? kthxbai!”

  2. whimple said

    I’m with PhysioProf on this one… honestly, what’s the point? I know DM is a big booster of getting in the comments and making your voice be heard, but who still has the energy left to do that? How long do you keep screaming into the wind?

  3. drugmonkey said

    Until you get your way!!!!!

    hee. Look I understand the “what can we do” and “nobody listens to us anyway” things. really. Believe me I fail to take each and every opportunity myself.

    But collectively we all could stand to do a little more. One extra call or email. And you will eventually make a difference. Not with GZ, sure. But how long is he going to be around?

    PP thinks that everything is going swimmingly, and that any conceivable change won’t do much. fine, I can respect that. But if you are one of those that thinks things suck and that there might be some solutions? speak up!

    and I’ll take you to task for the same thing I objected to over at FSM. Above all else, why promulgate learned helplessness in others?

  4. RGP said

    I totally agree with drugmonkey

  5. whimple said

    Ok. Point taken. Here’s what I submitted to the Chronicle:

    In the “significance” criterion for grant evaluation, why does the word HUMAN not appear? What can the NIH do to ensure that studies will maximize their relevance to HUMAN health?

  6. drugmonkey said

    put mine in but felt like using the RealName not DM so you’ll have to guess if it ever pops up anywhere….

  7. PhysioProf said

    GZ answer: “Good question… evidence over the years has shown overwhelmingly that scientific breakthroughs for human health often come from completely unrelated fundamental research… In my field, for example, CAT scanners were first developed to look at rocket engines and the inside of complex machines. only later did it become relevant to human health… in fact, I had trouble getting funded because reviewers said that the level of radiation will preclude human applications!”

    I have to say, this response greatly increased my opinion of Zerhouni, or at least of his opinions.

  8. whimple said

    He answered my question! Woo! Point to DrugMonkey for persistence pays off.

  9. drugmonkey said

    nah, point to you whimple for doing it. pretty good set of questions there. I feel like GZ booted most of ’em though. “stay tuned”. crap. and on the inevitably quality of review question, why oh why is it so hard to say “gee, we hear that accusation a lot so we’re putting a fair amount of effort into finding out if it is true before we go off half cocked” ?

    The Peer Review Advisory Committee met yesterday …. should be some announcements by week’s end on next steps/pilot projects. Meantime, some interesting charts in the accompanying Chronicle article on NIH peer review & funding. -writedit

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