Is the “Cancer Moonshot” Worth It?

February 13, 2023

The Biden administration wants more funding for its “cancer moonshot,” but some experts are pushing back. Walter Valdivia likely would fall in the cautious camp. Do scientific moonshots pay off for society, he asks in Issues. “This simple and obvious question has received surprisingly little attention,” he answers. Current knowledge provides “no more than an informed intuition” that can mobilize political support for governmental research subsidies “but is certainly not sufficient to support big bets” on particular projects. For now, he sees some “modest rules of thumb” that can help policymakers get the most from amped investments.

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