David Wright, director of the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) in the Department Of Health And Human Services, just quit his job in a big way. Wright wrote an insanely blunt resignation letter that was recently published by ScienceInsider. In it, he exposed the dysfunctional bureaucratic red tape that limited him from doing his job more than half of the time.
We’ve compiled some of the most entertaining parts below. Of course, feel free to read the full letter yourself, though I must warn that it’s loaded with various acronyms (common with government work).
He was only able to actually do his job around 35% of the time:
This has been at once the best and worst jobs I’ve ever had…Working with members of the research community, particularly RIOs, and the brilliant scientist-investigators in ORI has been one of the great pleasures of my long career. Unfortunately, and to my great surprise, it turned out to be only about 35% of the job.
The rest of my role as ORI Director has been the very worst job I have ever had and it occupies up to 65% of my time. That part of the job is spent navigating the remarkably dysfunctional HHS bureaucracy to secure resources and, yes, get permission for ORI to serve the research community…What I was able to do in a day or two as an academic administrator takes weeks or months in the federal government, our precinct of which is OASH.