The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum

“The lunatics have taken over the asylum
The lunatics have taken over the asylum
The lunatics have taken over the asylum – take away my right to choose
The lunatics have taken over the asylum – take away my point of view
The lunatics have taken over the asylum
The lunatics have taken over the asylum – take away my dignity,
Take these things away from me
The lunatics have taken over the asylum
The lunatics have taken over the asylum – take away my family,
Take away the right to speak
The lunatics have taken over the asylum – take away my point of view,
Take away my right to choose”  

–FB3, 1981

What does this have to do with neurotherapeutics? Nothing and everything. The ten-day-old-and-counting American Administration has yet to announce a executive decision that specifically regulates neuroscience, but when it comes to context, the macro-environment within which we live and work–these have been has been ten days that portend an Age of Unreason the like of which we have not previously seen. To the degree to which the advancement of Science depends upon a cultural acceptance of Science and Rationality, and to the degree to which the willingness of investors and companies to fund the unpredictable process of neuro-research depends upon sustained faith that the economic and political system within which we operate remains predictably adherent to the Rule of Law–the Ground upon which we walk is being rocked by tremors that feel like the advent of a Quake that could rip asunder much of what we have long taken for granted.
In a scientific world where pharma and academia exist in what has become a global venue, the rise of nationalist populism in the US and Europe augurs ill for the collaborative spirit and execution that have fostered the growth of knowledge. The willingness to embrace mean-spirited ignorance and impulses rather than intellectual rigor is a regression that we should not and cannot tolerate, as an industry or as a society.

“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut”  

–Bannon, S.  1/26/17

Don’t think so.

 

 

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3 Responses to The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum

  1. Jonathan says:

    You should read the wonderful article “the real war on science”:
    https://www.city-journal.org/html/real-war-science-14782.html

  2. Susan Gurney says:

    Hi Harry,

    While I respect your broad knowledge about many issue in pharmaceutical drug development and neuroscience – you have not spent real time, as I have, with those who worked hard to get Donald Trump elected. I assure you, this study on allocation for funding for resources will be well designed, is being run appropriately, and the outcomes for real progress in health and neuroscience will be forthcoming with the aid of the Trump Administration.
    The Obama Administration piggybacked hundreds of millions of dollars to Harvard et al Ivy League funding objectives for the brain initiative by calling it a ‘Cancer Moonshot’ based on flimsy ideas without rigorous structure and attention to the real goals of fighting neurodegenerative disease. They named it thusly because they have heard correctly that real progress has been and is being made in cancer therapeutics.
    The recent repeated failures of drug after drug for Alzheimer’s reflects what hasty funding without solid, ethical science can lead to: waste, and useless drugs with potentially unhelpful side-effects. Having assessed data on two such studies, I applaud any breath of fresh air from the new administration which can help blow life into what has become slush fund of established science researchers from the liberal Ivy League standard players.
    Onwards!
    Susan

    • Richard Lee says:

      A much more eloquent response than the original childish post, which does little to advance efforts to de-stigmatize mental health issues

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