Six years ago, Texas floated a series of bonds to fund cancer research within the Lone Star State. But the program, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), has seen more than its share of controversy. Some are levying accusations of cronyism.
Whether the $3 billion in bond revenue is actually going to research and not to connected businesses and political friends of the governor is the question.
Earlier this year the entire review board of CPRIT resigned in protest as money appeared to be going to favored businesses and not necessarily to good science.
(From The Huffington Post)
Initially, CPRIT was able to attract top scientific minds, including two Nobel laureates to oversee applications for grants and investments. Big name researchers added credibility to a new agency. Nobel laureates haven’t ever been involved in Texas style business and politics, however, and when a Houston bio-tech investor intervened in the grant review process to speed up an award he particularly favored, the scientists resigned. And the rest of the review committee followed, saying that the considerations for investing on every application for funding had more to do with political connections than with any scientific merit.