Alleviating mankind’s suffering, I discovered, is not the only force driving medical researchers. (Sometimes, it’s not a force at all). Rewards for scientific discoveries are remarkably gratifying: international recognition, prestige, and in the case of diseases, lucrative patents for subsequent diagnostic tests. The larger the problem, the bigger the payoff for solving it.

And scientists, of course, need money to conduct their research; clinical trials are incredibly expensive. As a result, they all compete for visibility because they are in the running for the same pots of funding; the more a scientist stands out, the more likely they are to be noticed by donors……more