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Earlier this week we spoke to Phillip Mirowski, a Notre Dame economist, about his new book "Science Mart — Privatizing American Science." In it, he argues the quest for profits is leading the U.S. away from important scientific discoveries and threatening America's scientific dominance.
Well, some of you disagreed with Mirowski. We received this response from a listener who logged on to our website as Guest-2: "I would urge Professor Mirowski to...see what's going on at [some of the big Boston hospitals, like] Mass General and Brigham and Womens ...and the other academic medical centers that are funded by [the National Institutes of Health] and that continue to translate basic science into actual treatments."
But another listener, Guest 3, agreed, with Mirowski. "As a veteran of Brigham and Womens and Mass General for almost 20 years... I can say... good science rarely comes out of these institutions. What they're good at is [attracting grants] and developing and applying cutting edge technologies. But at the end of the day this rarely... leads to any real progress."
We also heard from a lot of you about our conversation last week about the fertility industry. In that show, we talked about the case of Ben Seisler, a Boston lawyer and a former sperm donor, who logged on to the Donor Sibling Registry to learn how many kids he'd actually fathered.
So, should there be limits on how much money donors receive and on the number of sperm donations? "Of course there should be." That from Emma Hartnell-Baker, who writes, "It's ridiculous that the US isn't addressing [these issues] - as most other countries are."
"Lex Parent" found the Seisler story disturbing, and writes, "The [hight] number of children from a single donor is inconsistent with best practices, which would limit children conceived from a donor to ten families."
Finally, we spent a lot of time this week talking about baseball as we followed the painful collapse of the Red Sox. But on Wednesday, our talk with Only a Game's Bill Littlefield strayed into the world of cricket. That's because Bill told us about the city of Needham's recent 300th anniversary celebration.
Well, we heard from Rajan, who gently admonished us.
"I'm glad you had a good laugh discussing a game that you probably never have tried to understand," Rajan wrote.
Rajan was struck that we were talking about this right after our discussion of the Red Sox and their slim prospects of becoming WORLD champions again. "How many countries play baseball," asks Ragjan? "When India became WORLD champions [of cricket] this year, there were 14 teams from almost all the continents."
Rajan says it's "time to open up our minds."
Well, if you want to help open up our minds, fire away. And of course Rajan's right about cricket.
We’re always happy to hear feedback from listeners and many of our segments stirred up debate online. So keep those comments coming.
This segment aired on September 30, 2011.
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