At no time in the history of this planet has so much money been spent on medical research as in the last few years. The growth of research support by the federal government has been striking. In 1940, the government's medical research expenditures were $3 million, or about 7% of the total public and private medical research support. In 1961, they amounted to $496 million, or 56% of the total. The amount will reach $1.6 billion by 1970, or about 70% of all research support.
Far too few people have realized that the stepped-up efficiency with which these sums are raised does not necessarily mean that they are equally efficiently spent.1 Moreover, it is probable that inadequate numbers of research workers are benefiting by the grants2 and that huge sums of money are spent on doubtful, artificially blown-up, occasionally ridiculous projects. It would be most worthwhile, for instance,