National Institute of Health Boondoggles

by John McClaughry

President Trump wants to cut $6 billion from the budget of the National Institutes of Health, and the medical community is screamingCertainly the NIH does some useful research, but a lot of its politically motivated grants border on the idiotic.

Eric Boehm of Reason magazine reports that “Perhaps the most infamous example of pure WTF research funded by the NIH is the $175,000 grant to the University of Kentucky to study how cocaine affects the sex drives of Japanese quail…. NIH spent more than $2.8 million on  a study to determine why “nearly three-quarters of adult lesbians are overweight or obese”. Another $3.6 million allowed researchers at Bowdoin College to ponder “what makes goldfish feel sexy?”

Boehm’s personal favorite is the 2012 NIH-funded study that determined that rats on cocaine prefer listening to jazz music instead of classical. Specifically, they like listening to Miles Davis’ jazz more than Beethoven.

Another $548,000 NIH grant demonstrated that adults over age 30 who frequently binge-drink tend to be less mature than their peers. NIH also spent $666,000 on a study that found watching re-runs of old television shows make people happy, because it gives them an “energizing chance to reconnect with pseudo-friends.”

Now you’d think somebody at the head of NIH would realize that funding these idiotic studies to appease certain congressmen might call his Institute’s entire program into disrepute. But apparently not.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jim Bulmer March 25, 2017 at 12:49 pm

Cut 6 Billion? How about eliminating this departnent, PERIOD!!


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