Friday, October 24, 2008

Turning Oil Into Neuroscience

This report just in - neuroscientist and Ottawa native Bruce McNaughton was lured back across the border from Arizona to the academic powerhouse that is the University of Lethbridge. The bait? A cool $20 mill from the province of Alberta - the Polaris award. A lot of people are saying "HOLY SHITBALLS!!!!! THAT'S A LOT OF $$$$$$$!!!" And right they are. That's almost as many hits as we get by the minute here at the BayBlab (although we certainly aren't getting paid any coin for it). But let's not get too worked up about the whole thing. After all, the guy had a paper in SCIENCE (tm) just last year. He's a SCIENCE (tm) SuperStar! SuperStars are SuperStars and so we shouldn't be surprised to see that it takes SuperStar cash to reel them in. This deal seems pretty reasonable to me when you line it up with some other Alberta blockbusters:

Bruce McNaughton (Neuroscientist): $20,000,000 over 20 years.
Jarome Iginla (Hockey Player): $21,000,000 over 3 years.
Stephen Harper (Politician): $840,000 over 3 years.
Boone Pickens (Oil Tycoon): $1,000,000,000 + per year.

So be warned world - Alberta oil is waving a big fat wad of cash and they're coming after your scientists! And by the looks of it, some of them might even be crazy enough to go live there...


2 comments:

Anonymous Coward said...

That comparison is misleading unless that 20M$ is only for his salary or does it include his research? In any case a 20 year award would free time up for actual research instead of constant grant writing. smart move for Alberta, they need to look beyond oil and invest their riches to develop an economy that is not completely dependent on a finite resource and the environmental disaster in the making that is the oil sands...

juniorprof said...

Hummmm... So you guys get McNaughton back for a ton of cash but we still have Barnes. Guess we'll see who's running that show now. I know where my bet is...