Should the U.S. spend money in basic science research?

October 4, 2011

Nearly foolish question, but The Economist blogs ask it.

Go give them a piece of your mind.  Of course we should — tell ‘em. Boost that “yes” total much more — Fillmorize the entire poll.

The Economist Asks

Should the United States be financing expensive projects in fundamental science?

On September 30th America’s biggest particle accelerator, the Tevatron at Fermilab near Chicago, will be switched off for good. Until the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) started smashing protons in earnest, the Tevatron was the fanciest bit of kit at physicists’ disposal. When it shuts down, America will have conceded the high-energy-physics game to Europe, whose CERN laboratory on the outskirts of Geneva is home to the LHC. Some American (and foreign) scientists are dismayed. Others hope that planned new experiments at Fermilab, which will be probing the strange behaviour of particles called neutrinos, will make up for the loss of the Tevatron. But the cost of these new projects, though less than the LHC’s, will still be counted in the billions of dollars. Is fundamental science worth that much money, especially in the current unfavourable economic climate? Should the United States be funding expensive projects with no obvious practical applications? Cast your vote and join the discussion.

You voted: Yes  Current total votes: 2238

88% voted for Yes and 12% voted for No
Voting opened on Sep 29th 2011

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