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NIH reply to my open letter to Francis Collins [The Kafka Pandemic]

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Samuel, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. Samuel

    Samuel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
  2. petrichor

    petrichor Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think whether something counts as lobbying congress depends on the context and is up to interpretation. I think telling congress about ME would only be appropriate if they didn't know about it or it wasn't well known. Given that many members of congress and their staff members are already aware of ME and its rough situation, I think that there wouldn't be much justification in Francis Collins going out of his way to tell congress since it would plausibly be seen as encouraging them to do something (which would be lobbying), or even criticizing them, since they already know about it, and outside the imperative of just providing them with information. I think that he would be quite careful about not overstepping his political bounds.

    At the same time I think what Francis Collins can do is limited. The NIH has to choose grant reviewers and review grants according to particular processes (https://public.csr.nih.gov/ReviewerResources/BecomeAReviewer/Pages/How-Scientists-Are-Selected.aspx and https://grants.nih.gov/grants/grants_process.htm). In order to influence whether particular grants get selected he'd have to use his powers in a ridiculous and super inappropriate manner or he'd have to have 100% of everyone else at the NIH on board with funding as many ME grants as possible - both of which are basically impossible.

    It might be within his power to do something exceptional, but that would have to have the support of congress or the executive branch.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
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  3. Samuel

    Samuel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    hi @petrichor,

    nobody has asked francis to influence whether particular grants get selected.
     
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  4. petrichor

    petrichor Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    How else could he increase the funding for ME research?
     
  5. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I would forego your repeatedly saying peasant

    Also a typo "frequently aver"
     
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  6. Inara

    Inara Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    He's just saying how it is (in my view) :) I like it.

    Thanks for your analysis, @Samuel. Obviously, Francis Collins looks for excuses.
     
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  7. Allele

    Allele Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    By doing his job and letting congress know the areas where increased funding is needed.
    He doesn't increase the funding, congress does. But he does present his expert opinion for their consideration.
     
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