"Big Bucks" VS "Small Bucks" University Research

Basic research at universities comes in two varieties: research that requires big bucks and research that requires small bucks. Big bucks research is much like government research and in fact usually is government research but done for the government under contract. Like other government research, big bucks academic research is done to understand the nature and structure of the universe or to understand life, which really means that it is either for blowing up the world or extending life, whichever comes first. Again, that's the government's motivation. The universities' motivation for conducting big bucks research is to bring money in to support professors and graduate students and to wax the floors of ivy-covered buildings. While we think they are busy teaching and learning, these folks are mainly doing big bucks basic research for a living, all the while priding themselves on their terrific summer vacations and lack of a dress code.

Smalls bucks research is the sort of thing that requires paper and pencil, and maybe a blackboard, and is aimed primarily at increasing knowledge in areas of study that don't usually attract big bucks - that is, areas that don't extend life or end it, or both. History, political science, and romance languages are typically small bucks areas of basic research. The real purpose of small bucks research to the universities is to provide a means of deciding, by the quality of their small bucks research, which professors in these areas should get tenure.


Amusing and insightful.

Folksonomies: research funding

/law, govt and politics/government (0.535479)
/science (0.372878)
/science/medicine/medical research (0.177694)

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University Research Amusing:PrintMedia (0.958812 (positive:0.613067)), Smalls:Person (0.414534 (neutral:0.000000))

Research (0.975758): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Academia (0.873492): dbpedia | freebase
University (0.771748): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Political philosophy (0.728505): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Tenure (0.714323): dbpedia | opencyc

 Accidental empires
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Cringely , Robert X. (1996-09-13), Accidental empires, Harper Paperbacks, Retrieved on 2012-03-17
  • Source Material [books.google.com]
  • Folksonomies: