As the elderly lady said when the collection plate was passed to her in church, "I have nothing but praise for the new minister." Her sentiments have been echoed by many governments ever since, with nothing but praise for medical research.
It is a shame to see medical research treated as a charity—as merely a good work in a naughty world. That day must surely be over, as is the era of medical research as a "hobby." The very idea that a research career might be possible, even defensible, was foreign to the 19th century. In this century, however, one is not castigated for proclaiming, as Banting did, that medical research could be a worthy and rewarding career.
To view the research career otherwise would be to deny the continuity that clearly exists between its devotees today and Hippocrates. As Osler remarked: "So far did unaided observation and brilliant generalization