The distribution of funding will reflect community consensus as to who deserves it. SOFA retains the assumption at the heart of grant review that scientists know best who does good science, but it extends the process to all scientists instead of small review panels, and ensures a stable source of funding for early-career researchers. Funders can still develop grant programmes to encourage certain areas of research, such as neglected diseases or promising, risky new topics.
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This analysis of more than , investigators, 37 million papers and million references yielded a hypothetical funding distribution surprisingly similar to that produced by grant review — without anyone submitting or reading a single application. And freeing funding from proposals risks unleashing more sexism, racism and ableism than we already have. We plan to build in precautions.
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We can limit collusions and kickback schemes — the financial equivalent of citation cartels — by mandating a minimum number of recipients and restricting people from designating frequent collaborators, or colleagues at the same institution. Counteracting gender, age and prestige biases that plague conventional peer review might even be easier in SOFA because they are measurable.
Parameters can be tuned to distribute funds according to desired criteria, for example, limiting repeated allocations to single institutions or individuals, and guaranteeing donations to under-represented groups. Funders will need to define who gets to participate; perhaps everyone on a research track who is at an accredited institution and receiving a minimum salary.
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Otherwise, universities might be tempted to mint more professors and research associates. Also, without review panels, universities will need to be proactive to ensure that experiments fall within ethical guidelines and that scientists follow rules and fulfil obligations. I understand scepticism that SOFA might not fund the highest-quality research: that friendship or flash might get in the way.
But writing grant applications has already got in the way of doing research, and we owe it to science to find out whether this will work.
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The conventional proposal-based grant system might never have got off the ground had its adoption required the same level of proof we now seek. An essential round-up of science news, opinion and analysis, delivered to your inbox every weekday. Advanced search. Search for this author in: Pub Med Nature. PDF version. Nature Briefing An essential round-up of science news, opinion and analysis, delivered to your inbox every weekday.
Sign me up to receive the daily Nature Briefing email. Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing. Close banner Close. The study highlights the need for greater public education, says Prof Sir Nilesh Samani, the medical director of the British Heart Foundation. But even people in the medical profession can be misled. These are features that sometimes delay diagnosis.
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Sudden heart attacks occur because an artery is completely blocked. However, Samani says this is one end of a spectrum of possibilities.
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An ECG machine may not detect anything wrong, further delaying treatment. The advice is to call or an ambulance. However, even if you are armed with the symptom list, if you are not expecting a heart attack, you, or a doctor, will be likely to attribute experiencing any of them to another illness, or even a panic attack.
The thing to look out for, Samani says, is something you have never felt before. However, even as he was being transferred to another hospital for surgery, having had an aspirin and some rest, he was surprised at how well he felt. Since his recovery, he has lost 25kg 4st and taken up cycling. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics Heart attack. Reuse this content.