General Chiarelli’s Brain Crusade (Politico):
“Soon after Peter Chiarelli became vice chief of staff of the Army in 2008, a subordinate showed him a bar graph depicting the number of soldiers determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs to be at least 30 percent disabled. The tallest column was on the far left.
Those are amputations, Chiarelli thought. Or burns.
Then he examined the graph more carefully. Burns were off to the right, accounting for just 2 percent of disabled soldiers. Amputations were in the middle, at 10 percent. The big column, which represented 36 percent of seriously injured soldiers, was labeled “PTSD or TBI.”
Chiarelli was dumbfounded. PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is the catchall term to explain the anxiety, anger, and disorientation people can experience after exposure to physical harm or the threat of it.
Chiarelli moved back home to Seattle and assumed command of One Mind for Research, a nonprofit organization focused on advancing research and treatment of mental illness and brain injury…
…he found that instead of collaborating, the smartest physicians and scientists were competing for the biggest share of a growing pot of federal research dollars. He had naively assumed that they would come together in the manner of the scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project to solve what he believed was a profound national challenge. Instead, they seemed to be acting as rainmakers for their universities. “They see data as their power to get more money,” he said.
We have a totally dysfunctional research system, Chiarelli thought. The problem isn’t money. The problem is the doctors. He tossed aside his fund-raising plan. “We’ve abdicated to the researchers,” he said. “We’re afraid to challenge them because they all went to school for twelve more years than we did.”
–> Learn more about the Apollo Brain Data Exchange Portal, as presented by General Chiarelli at the 2013 SharpBrains Virtual Summit: