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


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

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

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    Well…
    1. the USA put up a half a billion dollars for the CERN infrastructure.

    Good for us. Tiny portion of our GDP, much less than we used to invest in that stuff when our student physicists like Alpher and Gamow figured out Big Bang. We paid a little. We’ll get a little.

    But we need a lot.

    2. We are doing “basic research” at CERN. The Projects at CERN are not just European, you know. There is an international grid to look at data and collectors. The Economist surely know this, ad is willfully misrepresenting matters..

    Republican plans are to cut that research out — this year, if they can.

    3. Just which political -arty shut down the Super Collider (can’t spend any money in a GOP state, now can we?)

    Republicans shut it down in 1993. Newt Gingrich’s gang went after it hammer and tong, trying to vitiate a prize won by former Speaker Wright of Fort Worth, Texas. I think Democrats could have defended it better, but it was the Republicans who insisted the U.S. could not afford to be the world leader in physics, and pounded the thing down.

    4. Just which political party s shutting down the Tev?

    Republicans again. They’ve opposed almost all long-range science and education planning.

    5. Which political party has shut down our manned space program?

    Under the current Republican budget crisis, Obama’s science people wisely urged spending money in more critical, cutting edge basic science. Bush’s announced goal of going to the Moon, again, came about 30 years too late. Bush never recommended funding the program adequately.

    6. Which party has wasted billions on the Global Warming fraud? (and yes there pal, it is a fraud.)

    Sen. Inhofe, the chief perpetrator of the fraud arguments against global warming in government, is a Republican. He’s opposed saving the U.S. and he has voted for pollution at every turn. He’s truly a Scrooge-before-the-angels kind of guy — and appears to be dumb as a stump on science issues. Sen. Inhofe has been joined by Sen. Tom Coburn, another Republican, and another science wacko. Seriously, these guys have done more damage to our nation than Communist China since 2000 — when warming really starts to whomp us upside the head, they will be listed as among the greatest mass murderers in history, don’t you think? (Let’s pray for quick action from Congress soon, before our nation faces disasters from global warming like these.)

    7. Which political party has just ruined public education in this nation? Hint: the one that has controlled it for the last 60 years.

    Your timeline is way, way off. Republicans have only controlled education for about 20 years, but they’ve undone so much of the good work started by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln and U. S. Grant. The Kick-Every-Child-in-the-Behind Act of George Bush is a disaster, costing billions of dollars for little or no gain. It is Republcans who worked hard to kill education in Texas this year, cutting $4 billion from funding, necessitating classrooms of 40 students, and killing the new-teacher pipeline. Republicans in Wisconsin and other states have worked hard for 20 years to defund public education in every state, and they have succeeded in freezing funding at their weakest places, but gutting funding where they have the political muscle.

    George, Tom, James Madison, Abe and Ulysses join Jesus in weeping. It’s a national tragedy. As the Commission on Excellence in Education put it, had a foreign nation done this to us, we’d consider it an act of war. None of those bounder has even been indicted for treason.

    8. Which political party has s corrupted the award and team recruitment process with racial and gender politics that now one has to make grants to women and minorities, and include women and minorities on teams, whether they are capable or not or whether the projects are meaningful or not?

    Civil rights is not corruption. Shame on you.

    Team diversity led to a remarkably productive period of time from about 1975 through 2002, when the Republican War on Americans really started to bite at middle class and poor people.

    9 What political party predominate industries that outsource technical ad scientific work offshore?

    Republicans. Think of Dick Cheney’s company, Halliburton, moving its headquarters from the U.S. solely to avoid taxes. Republicans lead the pack.

    You remember that phony journalist who claimed to have film of ACORN offering tax advice to an actor playing a pimp? Republican outrage wasn’t directed at ACORN for having advised a pimp — they were ticked off that ACORN advised the pimp to pay his taxes. ‘Can you imagine, someone urging a high-dollar earner to pay taxes? And on government money?’

    They are consistent, at least.

    The Democrats are only interested in scientific research when they can use it to grab a sizable chunk of the taxpayers wallets one way or another.

    Or to fight pollution. Or to cure cancer (NCI). Or to track down the virus that causes HIV/AIDS. Or to explore space (there’s a reason it’s the Kennedy Space Launch Facility and the Johnson Space Center).

    They are only interested in “researchers” when they can turn them to a voting block.

    Or when that research will save their constituents, hence the funding to check volcanoes in Wyoming, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California and Hawaii. Or when that research will keep farmers in business, like the seed research and soil conservation research, or the research to stop the boll weevil — all of which the Republicans have proposed to kill (remember Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal made fun of disaster forecasting in his “response” to the State of the Union Address? I mean, could it be possible to be more hypocritical, and stupid, all at once?)

    Above all, they do not want t see America to excel at anything for they hate the very idea of excellence ad the very idea of America.

    It’s Republicans who are trying to hand the solar industry to Communist China on a platter made of dried oil from the Gulf of Mexico. You’ve got your story exactly backwards.

    Have you read a newspaper or a good news magazine in the past decade?

    (Just look at your w values). The Democrats and the Liberals like to say that they are “pro science”, but this is not really true. They are “pro Nomenklatura” and only to keep that Nomenklatura the pink d they pretend to promote science.

    They really do not care abut science at all. All you have to do to see this to look at the Global Warming fraud.

    So, once again, you are wrong all round.

    Whom God would destroy, He first makes mad a global warming denialist. I think that’s what Euripides said. Right?

    Here, look at some of the most recent research into the problems of climate change: The psychologists say y’all handle bad news very, very badly, almost as if you were nuts in fact.

    How can we be sure?

    Like

  2. Scrooge says:

    Looks like 12 percent believe we really want to win the race to the bottom.

    Like

  3. Ellie says:

    I see it’s at 88% yes. I hope that’s a good sign.

    Like

  4. Right…when 99% of the worlds scientific experts say that global warming is going on…it’s a fraud.

    On what planet do you live on?

    As for ruining public education…oh you mean the Republican party? Except for they’ve only been the ones in power for the last 30 years.

    As for political party’s and industry’s that outsource jobs…yeah right. The Koch brothers support Democrats.

    And why is it that the Republican party is the one that saved the tax breaks that companies get for shipping jobs overseas when the Democrats tried to get rid of those same tax cuts?

    Sorry, you’re an idiot.

    But thank you for proving that the right wing fails to listen to James Madison’s axiom that says “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

    Like

  5. urneverright says:

    Well…
    1. the USA put up a half a billion dollars for the CERN infrastructure.

    2. We are doing “basic research” at CERN. The Projects at CERN are not just European, you know. There is an international grid to look at data and collectors. The Economist surely know this, ad is willfully misrepresenting matters..

    3. Just which political -arty shut down the Super Collider (can’t spend any money in a GOP state, now can we?)

    4. Just which political party s shutting down the Tev?

    5. Which political party has shut down our manned space program?

    6. Which party has wasted billions on the Global Warming fraud? (and yes there pal, it is a fraud.)

    7. Which political party has just ruined public education in this nation? Hint: the one that has controlled it for the last 60 years.

    8. Which political party has s corrupted the award and team recruitment process with racial and gender politics that now one has to make grants to women and minorities, and include women and minorities on teams, whether they are capable or not or whether the projects are meaningful or not?

    9 What political party predominate industries that outsource technical ad scientific work offshore?

    The Democrats are only interested in scientific research when they can use it to grab a sizable chunk of the taxpayers wallets one way or another. They are only interested in “researchers” when they can turn them to a voting block. Above all, they do not want t see America to excel at anything for they hate the very idea of excellence ad the very idea of America.
    (Just look at your w values). The Democrats and the Liberals like to say that they are “pro science”, but this is not really true. They are “pro Nomenklatura” and only to keep that Nomenklatura the pink d they pretend to promote science.

    They really do not care abut science at all. All you have to do to see this to look at the Global Warming fraud.

    So, once again, you are wrong all round.

    Like

Please play nice in the Bathtub -- splash no soap in anyone's eyes. While your e-mail will not show with comments, note that it is our policy not to allow false e-mail addresses. Comments with non-working e-mail addresses may be deleted.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: