Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Jan 11, 2023 in Blog, Essays | 0 comments

Spending on Science: How Much is Too Much?




READ:  Please, don’t build another Large Hadron Collider: A next-generation LHC++ could cost $100 billion; Here’s why such a machine could end up being a massive waste of money.

Let me begin by stating the obvious. I know little about science. I don’t pretend to know much, nor do I have many thoughts on scientific matters. I’m happy to leave those things up to experts.

However, I’m not indifferent to trying to learn more. And, I am qualified to discuss government appropriation, though I have just as many questions when it comes to the public funding of scientific programs. Hence, this is an attempt to learn more and to try and understand if the benefits outweigh the costs of very expensive initiatives — whether we’re trying to look to the stars or dissect the atom.

I think most of us agree that space exploration has been a great thing. The benefits to human knowledge continue to outweigh the costs, even to this day, as evidenced by the Hubble Space Telescope (correct me–if anyone has a dissenting opinion). I also think most of the general public supports medical research, especially on things like curing cancer and other deadly diseases.

My question is this — does spending on science ever go too far?

I presume some waste exists (which is inevitable in all large-scale projects). But are there some things we simply should *shelve* for now? It seems there are plenty of tangible needs that might deserve funding and support instead of testing various labcoat theories. That’s not a slap at science or scientists. Rather, it’s a ranking of priorities.

I’m lucky to know several people who know a great deal more about science than I do.  And, I can be swayed by fact-based persuasion.  So, please do share with me (and those of us who are non-scientific in our backgrounds) any examples of how massive expenditures similar to the Super Collider are worth the huge investment.


Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *