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Re: Science

Roger wrote:
> > Science.  Where there is money, science follows.  If you could assemble
> > the money necessary for research you would find that there's no shortage
> > of qualified people who are eager to do the work.

Tom followed:
> That's what we need Roger. A big research grant, loosely 
> defined goals, and a bunch of tanks:) Where do I sign?

You just described the NSF grant program, funded by congress,
to encourage activities in various science and mathematics
arenas.  "Small" grants are $100K to $300K, and "full program
grants" are $1M a year for three to five years (perhaps starting
at $100K the first year or two as the effort gets established).

Specifically relating to plants, you can look at:


However, if we were to look at the breadth of Aquarium
Science (and I believe it is a real science, although our
main problem is that it is very young and not heavily
published in an academic manner), we can very easily
tap into sealed systems (NASA is interested), indicator
systems (petro-chemical companies interested), and
assorted environmental chemistry issues (pharma 
interested).  In fact, you could even go so far as to say
we are doing general biochemistry, and we find an 
aqueous environment to merely be a useful metaphor
to explain reactions (part of the NSF directorate is
for mere education of K-12 in additional to pure research.)

The grant process requires a pre-proposal (12 pages), 
followed by a full proposal (25 pages).  If selected (past
projects I've been on experienced a 1:6 chance of selection,
which is viewed as higher-than-average), you are required
to submit annual reports on progress, and you retain all
intellectual property (the NSF wants access to this IP, but
doesn't want to manage it -- it's yours to keep).  You are
encouraged to patent, trademark, protect, or form for-profit
ventures with technology relating to the grant.  No matching
is required on your part, and you don't pay anything back.

IMHO, this is one of the few areas in the government where
it's relatively easy to see value for your tax dollars (isn't
this internet a cool thing?  DARPA started, NSF deployed.)

I've been thinking about getting an Aquarium Science/Chemistry
curriculum together under an NSF grant for a long time
(it could be fun).  The most attractive part would be that
we have a relatively extensive and professional network
of contributors through the APD, and that's exactly what
the NSF is after (advertisement of their name and programs,
successes in program development over as many people
as possible.)  Past successful grants have been as simple
as development of a curricula or information site, similar
to what the Krib has done for free.

charleyb at cytomation_com