Kidney Punch

A funding model that works (for me)

John Pickering Sep 26, 2014

I’ve been a strong critic of the bias towards project rather than people based funding in public grants for science research.  Now, I celebrate being the recipient of people based funding thanks to a combined initiative of the Emergency Care Foundation, the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation, and the Canterbury District Health Board. What has transpired is … Continue reading → … Read More

It’s all about the math, dummy!

John Pickering Sep 18, 2014

No one understands the electoral maths of the NZ electoral system including the electoral commission apparently. Last night I put the latest figures from the “Poll of Polls” into the electoral commission calculator and I discovered the calculator was broken! I put the figures in with United Future winning one electorate seat, but when it crunched … Continue reading → … Read More

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World Science Week: Where are we in the world?

John Pickering Aug 26, 2014

It’s World Science Week.  So, where are we in the science world?  One measure showing our commitment to science is our expenditure on R&D.  If we compare ourselves to the other OECD countries, we see that we are right at the bottom of the pile at 1.27% of GDP and have recently been overtaken by Hungary. … Continue reading → … Read More

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Policy our lives depend on: Health research in election 2014

John Pickering Aug 21, 2014

We all care about health – ours, our family’s, and even that of one or two politicians (perhaps). We also care that the 15 billion dollar annual health budget is spent on health care that works.  I contend that both these cares are only as good as the health research that underpins the treatments we receive.  Therefore, … Continue reading → … Read More

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HRC success in Christchurch

John Pickering Jun 09, 2014

The Health Research Council announced Programme and Project grant recipients.  Here’s the list from the Christchurch campus of the University of Otago in which I get a brief mention :).  If others have abstracts of successful grants they’d like posted on this blog, then please let me know. *****Update: It’s come to my attention that this … Continue reading → … Read More

$20bn for Medical Research!

John Pickering May 15, 2014

Alas, not in New Zealand, but close … our Australian counterparts in medical research appear on the face of it to have scored big in what appears otherwise to be a grim Australian budget.  An AUD$20bn medical research “future fund” is to be established. This effectively means that by 2022-3 there will be twice the … Continue reading → … Read More

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Does being unconscious mean you should miss out?

John Pickering May 14, 2014

The front page of the Herald this morning questions the participation of unconscious patients in clinical trials. While I understand Auckland Women’s Health Council co-ordinator Lynda Williams unease, I also detected a failure to understand the process of how progress in medicine is made. First, all research in such cases is approved by ethics committees which include … Continue reading → … Read More

Oh hell

John Pickering Apr 16, 2014

Oh Hell, that hurts!  I sat down in a hurry. My first thought was “I’m having a heart attack.”  My second was “Don’t be silly you’re only 49 and probably just gobbled lunch too quickly, again.”  Jess came up to me and said “Gosh, you look pale.”  I mumbled something about a bit of pain.  … Continue reading → … Read More

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