A few weeks before I left Berkeley, I ran into one of my psych-department colleagues in a supermarket. He said — this was before the financial crisis — that the grant outlook was terrible. The success rate for NIH grants was about 7%. He had had two grants; now he expected to have none. “Self-experimentation is looking better and better,” he said.
Today I got an email that began like this:
If your department’s economic outlook is looking bleak, like the rest of our economy, then we have some help available for you! Regardless of the nation’s economic condition, the federal, state, local, corporate and private foundation grant system in the US is quite healthy and can provide substantial supplemental relief to your budget woes. Grant money for equipment, training, vehicles and other needs is still available in substantial amounts and remains unaffected by the current economic crisis. Competition for this available funding is becoming more intense with more agencies than ever applying. You need an edge to win; we offer that edge!
CHIEF and 5.11 Tactical have teamed up for 2009 to offer our nationally recognized grant consultant, Kurt Bradley and his national grant writing seminars, for the affordable price of $149.00. Kurt and 5.11 will be in Las Vegas, NV on January 6th and 7th to instruct public safety agencies how to capture their share of this money. Chief Grants has turned hundreds of departments into successful applicants and winners for these funds, assisting agencies, just like yours, in obtaining more than $100 million dollars.
I was on the 5.11 Tactical mailing list because I had bought some pants that police officers often buy.
In Systems of Survival, Jane Jacobs wrote that there were two systems of morality, corresponding to two different ways of making a living: taking and trading. The first values loyalty more than honesty, the other values honesty more than loyalty. Police are firmly in the taking morality system, which pervades government. Science should value honesty, of course; but you can see that a dependence on grants pushes everyone involved toward a loyalty-based morality: If we tell the truth we might lose our grant. Modern science is indeed almost completely dependent on grants, which means results don’t really matter. What really matters is getting the next grant. One reason my self-experimentation was effective was it didn’t depend on grants. No matter what I found, no matter how strange or upsetting or impossible or weird the results might be, I could publish them and continue to investigate them.