Friday, May 31, 2013

Let's Just Let the "Valley of Death" Die

A few authors at The Guardian put a new spin on making science and innovation work; reframe challenges in a positive light:
Let's do away with valley of death metaphors, which rest on flawed linear assumptions and reinforce the idea that linking science to policy is the task of heroic pioneers. It doesn't take a solitary, genius scientist or a brave, visionary policy-maker to cross the valley of death and come out the other side. It takes an entirely different kind of courage: to work in teams, to share accountability and to develop and maintain complex relationships with other people who have different training, expertise and interests. 
They also make the observation that Sir Paul Nurse, recipient of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Medicine, argued for more support for "the best scientists" which would in turn solve problems like those associated with the "Valley of Death".  If those "best scientists" happen to be involved in basic research and have nothing to do with any research that's supposed to be translated to the marketplace - arguably having to pass through the existing disconnect - throwing more funds at them will not solve this particular problem.