I am currently engrossed in GENIUS: Richard Feynman and Modern Physics by James Gleick
In July 1962 Feynman went behind the Iron Curtain to attend a conference on gravitation in Warsaw. He was exasperated at the state of Soviet science. He wrote to his wife Gweneth:-
The “work” is always: (1) completely un-understandable, (2) vague and indefinite, (3) something correct that is obvious and self-evident, worked out by long and difficult analysis, and presented as an important discovery, or (4) a claim based on stupidity of the author that some obvious and correct fact, accepted and checked for years is, in fact, false (these are the worst: no argument will convince the idiot), (5) an attempt to do something, probably impossible, but certainly of no utility, which, it is finally revealed at the end, fails or (6) just plain wrong. There is a great deal of “activity in the field” these days, but this “activity” is mainly in showing that the previous “activity” of somebody else resulted in an error or in nothing useful or in something promising. (Page 353)
The failings of Government-backed science are nothing new.