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TCO
16-07-2008, 20:06:15
This guy asked a bunch of notable scientists to answer a question regarding what science issues the President should worry about. I'm just starting to read them, but so far, I find the memos submitted to be of very high quality. Pinker's is better than Randall's. Randall just has the standard whine in there. Someone needs to give the president a memo that explains what the history of ONR did. That the scientists are as bad as the farmers for handouts.

mr_B
16-07-2008, 20:12:59
what a story what a story

Lazarus and the Gimp
16-07-2008, 21:27:03
Link?

TCO
16-07-2008, 21:34:44
http://www.edge.org/q2003/question03_print.html

Noisy
16-07-2008, 22:03:08
Thanks.

TCO
16-07-2008, 23:39:32
No sweat. I'm still reading and skimming through these. A lot of these guys also have other intereting essays or websites.

I am leery of the return on investment of government investment in science. And also realize that it in some ways resembles more a bunch of ants moving breadcrumbs than the glorious advances of the past. Really an industrial activity almost. Certainly the grants and money and stuff make it seem that way.

I think an inspirational, easy and potentially helpful thing would be to commit significant money for science prizes.

Funko
17-07-2008, 08:30:22
Science is arguably moving faster than ever. We're getting advances as big as some of the "glorious advances of the past" every few years whilst they were spread out over centuries.

Not that the current system is in any way perfect. Peer review doesn't seem to be as effective as it used to be, science is too often becoming a political tool with grant money dependent on coming up with answers that the granting body wants to hear.

I think that's why publicly funded independent science is important. No-one would trust a study on the health effects of smoking funded by a tobacco company, but could you trust a study on the health effects of tobacco sponsored by an anti-smoking charity?

The problem is that publically funded science is becoming a political issue in exactly the same way and the general public is losing confidence in the scientific community's objectivity.

MDA
17-07-2008, 10:49:05
There are two kinds of scientific progress: the methodical experimentation and categorization which gradually extend the boundaries of knowledge, and the revolutionary leap of genius which redefines and transcends those boundaries. Acknowledging our debt to the former, we yearn nonetheless for the latter.

Academician Prokhor Zakharov
"Address to the Faculty"


I did it again! This used to hang over my lab bench.

JM^3
17-07-2008, 17:50:00
There is a reason why we are falling behind technologically. It is because we trained scientists, but not all move here anymore, because the government does not fund the sciences as well as it use to. Even pure science like I am doing advances practical technology. As an example, the hybrid cell techniques that were developed to get higher polarization (and so a higher Figure-of-Merit) have increased our technology in regards to medical imaging.

If the funding was even worse, the scientists involved would be in europe probably working there, and they would get the advancements and not us.

Jon Miller

JM^3
17-07-2008, 17:50:57
The fundamental science of today has applications that pay off in the next 20 years, and lead to the technological advancements in 100 years.

JM

TCO
17-07-2008, 18:12:58
Originally posted by JM^3
There is a reason why we are falling behind technologically. It is because we trained scientists, but not all move here anymore, because the government does not fund the sciences as well as it use to. Even pure science like I am doing advances practical technology. As an example, the hybrid cell techniques that were developed to get higher polarization (and so a higher Figure-of-Merit) have increased our technology in regards to medical imaging.

If the funding was even worse, the scientists involved would be in europe probably working there, and they would get the advancements and not us.

Jon Miller

how do they get these advances. once published, they are common knowledge.

KrazyHorse
17-07-2008, 18:14:53
Free-riding :beer:

JM^3
17-07-2008, 21:29:43
One of the profs that does our hybrid cells has many patents.

JM

Shining1
17-07-2008, 21:32:06
Eh, applied science has been massive in the 20th century. Pure fundamental science had it's worst century since the game started. But for a little theoretical physics in the 20s and 30s, it's all been medicine, computers, moon landings, planet finding and cars.

Not that I'm terribly complaining about that side of it, just pointing out that the relentless advance in understanding the fundamental nature of our existance seems to draw to a screeching halt. =/

Asher
17-07-2008, 21:53:43
Free-balling > Free-riding

TCO
17-07-2008, 23:19:04
bareback with a cookie

Funko
18-07-2008, 07:54:47
Originally posted by Shining1
Eh, applied science has been massive in the 20th century. Pure fundamental science had it's worst century since the game started. But for a little theoretical physics in the 20s and 30s, it's all been medicine, computers, moon landings, planet finding and cars.

Not that I'm terribly complaining about that side of it, just pointing out that the relentless advance in understanding the fundamental nature of our existance seems to draw to a screeching halt. =/

We might have averaged one massive advance about the fundamental nature of our existence per century. 20th Century had Quantum Physics and Relativity, maybe we're due the next one soon.

And we've learnt a huge amount about the fundamental nature of humans in the last century. We've invented cloning!

Maybe the LHC is about to open up a whole new world of quantum understanding.

Shining1
18-07-2008, 13:25:49
If 'Quantum Understanding' means 'physicist pussy'. =)

MDA
18-07-2008, 17:44:17
it may open up a whole new world of flesh eating zombies from the shadow dimension

Dyl Ulenspiegel
18-07-2008, 18:33:19
Another Cheney administration? :eek:

Beta1
18-07-2008, 19:05:33
Originally posted by Shining1
Eh, applied science has been massive in the 20th century. Pure fundamental science had it's worst century since the game started. But for a little theoretical physics in the 20s and 30s, it's all been medicine, computers, moon landings, planet finding and cars.

Not that I'm terribly complaining about that side of it, just pointing out that the relentless advance in understanding the fundamental nature of our existance seems to draw to a screeching halt. =/

Depends on what you mean by pure science - if you restrict that to your big physical stuff you are probably right but the second half of the century was a massive step forward in molecular biology - A constant drive of advances not a classic "single great step forward".

Go back to even the 1970s and we had very little idea of how cells actually worked. 30 years later Ventner is on the verge of creating the first artificially designed bacteria.

50 years between the discovery of the DNA structure and first draft of the human genome.

Noisy
18-07-2008, 21:06:08
Backing up Beta (http://www.studiodaily.com/main/technique/tprojects/6850.html)

KrazyHorse
18-07-2008, 21:48:31
Originally posted by Asher
Free-balling > Free-riding

I actually freeball about 70% of days. The other 30% I wear boxers...

Shining1
19-07-2008, 00:26:29
Originally posted by Beta1
50 years between the discovery of the DNA structure and first draft of the human genome.


That's pretty huge, actually. Yeah, good call.