Like Mitt

You know, I don’t really feel bad for Mitt Romney. Because even thought he lost the election, he can just go back to being, well, Mitt Romney. Living the life he’s always led. I often think, why can’t we all live more like Mitt? Jet-setting and stuff. So I’ve started to think of ways in which I could acquire a lifestyle more like Mitt’s.

Fortunately, I just got invited to a “brainstorming power-lunch” about how us shlumpy scientists could form partnerships with well-dressed industry folks to make mucho dinero! This one seems specifically focused to my broad area of research, and the university has invited a couple of local industry folks working in our area as well as some venture capitalists. I can understand why the uni is keen on holding such meetings, because universities can’t function on indirect costs, tuition and fundraising alone, and their intellectual capital is supposedly highly marketable.

So should I start picking out my new jet and livin’ la vida loca? I don’t think so. I may be naive here, but I just don’t see it. I don’t see how any of my research make any money for anyone. Yea, I know some folks who have started companies and filed patents, and maybe some of those folks have made some extra cash from these enterprises, and yes, maybe an even smaller subset has made a not-so-insubstantial amount of money. But still, our research is so basic and far from anything immediately clinical, that I just don’t see it. And it’s not that I’m against this sort of stuff, the purity of science and what not. No, I would love to cash in on all our hard work, and the only way basic research can become truly translational is through such partnerships. Unless the government gets into the drug-development business. But with my research I just don’t see it. Who knows, maybe these folks will illuminate me, and at the least I get a free lunch.

How about you, readers, do you often think about how you could monetize your research? Have you tried? If so have you been successful?

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3 Responses to Like Mitt

  1. me says:

    Why can’t we n some hhmi funding get directly into the drug business?…I can’t believe that we couldn’t do better than the corporate folks if a large enough group of us got around the open source concept and put our heads together…$20b in revenues to then fund our basic research??…time for a new business model!!…(retire all the gray beards!!!)

  2. neuropolarbear says:

    I think about this about once a month or two. I think I am just far enough away from pharm that I could never make $$ in that industry. My plans instead lean towards writing popular science books, but my friends in that industry assure me it pays much worse than actual science. And then there’s university administration, but then I remember how much I am shy and also hate smalltalk. And at that point I think of how much I enjoy my current income level.

  3. anon says:

    Mitt Robmey did not get his fortune through any innovative effort whatsoever:
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/greed-and-debt-the-true-story-of-mitt-romney-and-bain-capital-20120829
    In my own case, I feel that the science I do has no commercial potential, nor do I want it to. I don’t like this shift of academic institutions toward an eye on profit or even with a focus on translation. I have nothing against those efforts, but I don’t think they should be pursued at the expense of basic research, which is absolutely necessary for any advances made at higher levels.

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