Harold Varmus, Nobel laureate, former director of the NIH, collaborator with The Genome Center, and now comedy straight man, was on The Daily Show last night. In the interview, he discusses the complexities of science funding in the US. Well, at least as much as you can in a four minute interview.
Dr. Varmus, along with other Nobel laureates Sir John Sulston and Joseph Stiglitz, recently participated in a panel discussion on the need for intellectual property reform. Dr. Varmus has long been a proponent of open sharing of knowledge, most concretely in his work to set up the Public Library of Science (PLoS) journals. While the panel agreed that the current system is broken, there did not seem to be consensus on how to fix it. Since Dr. Varmus has the president's ear as part of the Presidential Council of Advisers on Science and Technology, hopefully they will come up with something.