At a recent meeting of intramural scientists at NIH Dr. Lamont-Havers, of the Research Grants Division, outlined some of the
projected consequences of the general decrease in funds for bio-medical research. He anticipated that recent administrative
decisions concerning the use of such funds would lead to a particular deficiency in money for young researchers. This group
was characterized as those just completing post-doctoral training and ready to embark on independent research.
Given the importance of this particular group to future biochemical research, I would like to suggest that the Society of
Biological Chemists consider a special effort to encourage and support the young scientists. More particularly, I suggest
that the Society investigate the possibility of raising money and then dispersing it, as research grants, to individuals in
the category described above. Several sources for funds have occurred to me, but obviously other ideas are necessary. One
possibility is personal contributions from Society members. This would probably not raise a great deal of money, but would
serve to stress our own responsibilities to science. Another source would be commercial establishments directly involved
in supplying equipment and chemicals for biochemical research. Since the viability of these businesses depends on active
research, they will presumably have a concrete interest in encouraging young scientists to continue in research. Furthermore,
it seems likely that a large part of any money they contribute will return to them as payment for the things they sell.
It may well be that further thought and investigation will suggest that this proposal is unfeasible. However, given the current
discouragement among young people, and the real threat that many will turn to other pursuits, I believe it is of great importance
for the Society to consider seriously its responsibilities in this regard. Perhaps discussion of this issue within the Society
will yield other proposals directed at the same problem.