Underfunding not good news, says researcher


I am disturbed by the discordance between the headline "Medical researchers garner MRC millions" (UBC Reports, Feb. 18) and the substance of the article which is that only 15 out of 99 applications for funding were successful and that, of the $108 million awarded by the MRC, only $4.5 million came to UBC. (Given the size of the population of British Columbia and UBC's claims to be second to none, we should have won 10-15 per cent of the awarded funds with a success rate of 25 to 30 out of 99).

The news is bad news. Either you should not have published an article on the results of the competition or you should have used a headline that reflected the real substance of the results of the competition. But to try to portray bad news as some form of good news is spin doctoring of the most abject political character.

It is something that we have grown to assume is the norm for government and company press releases, but surely not in a university news publication.

Prof. Emeritus Michael Smith, Director, Genome Sequence Centre

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