Read article by Paul Wells on the concentration of research funding in the sciences. Argument that younger researchers in wider institutional settings may have greater needs. Reference made to Tony Pawson:
Tony Pawson, the British-born cell biologist who died in Toronto in 2013, opened up a whole new field of lucrative and life-saving anti-cancer therapies with research that didn’t cost much, showed little obvious promise, and began when he was 21.
Turns out that Paul Wells has written about Tony Pawson before, in relation to problems with research funding of the fashionable, at the expense of the innovative that may be regarded as eccentric. Lots of research funding to continue to prove that the world is flat; little interest in funding research to show that the world is round. Unless and until…
Wells also solicitied and published the reflections of Dr. James Woodgett, at the time of Pawson’s death:
As in all of his work, he led by example. In conversation or in formal lectures, Tony exuded infectious enthusiasm for research. He matched his talent for cellular communication with electrifying skills in personal communication: he gesticulated, jumped, challenged and performed for his audiences as though his wonderfully symphonic voice was insufficient for the task. He was also a passionate and persistent advocate for basic science. He knew we need a broad spectrum of study, from discovery to application — but railed against the increasingly bandied suggestion that we surely know enough about biology by now to focus on putting that knowledge to work. He effectively countered this argument by repeatedly making startling new discoveries, encouraging his team to ask high-risk questions and letting them follow their noses.
Thought of Paul Wells as primarily a political commentator. Shallow thought.