Spotlight needed on Italian policy

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Sir

Biologists in the university sector share Ben Miflin's pride and pleasure that fellow biologists in 15 UK research institutes have average citation rates for their papers that exceed those of their peers in the United States, Canada, Germany and France4.

That, however, is the correct comparison, institute with institute, like with like. Miflin's attempt to show that biologists in UK institutes are somehow more successful than biologists in UK universities is misguided (and invidious). He does not compare like with like.

The two types of organization and their staffs have different roles in our society and contribute differently to the progress of biological science.

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  1. 4

    Miflin, B. Nature 390, 12 12 (1997).

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