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Addressing the 'Graying of Scientific Research'
Dr. Paul B. Rothman, dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Ronald J. Daniels, president of The Johns Hopkins University, addressed the shrinking number of grants awarded to young researchers in an article published on Wednesday, March 5 in The Wall Street Journal.
“Our most promising young minds find it more difficult than ever to ignite their own research,” wrote Rothman and Daniels in the piece entitled “How to Reverse the Graying of Scientific Research.”
“The National Institutes of Health reports that between 1980 and 2012, the share of all research funding going to scientists under age 35 declined to 1.3 percent, from 5.6 percent,” claimed Rothman and Daniels.
“Considering that many of the most significant scientific breakthroughs were made by the 36-and-younger set—from Albert Einstein developing his special theory of relativity at 26 to James Watson at 25 and Francis Crick at 36 discovering the DNA double helix—we deprive young scientists of funding at our peril,” the two wrote.
To address this “graying,” Rothman and Daniels offered three solutions to aid young researchers: renew the country’s commitment to funding scientific research, re-examine the grant review process to even the playing field for newer researchers and alleviate the pressures that steer funding away from younger scientists.