Science Funding

This is somewhat old news, but I was listening to a Aspen Ideas Festival discussion of Science and Politics today and it really crystallized an issue for me. Namely, America is falling behind in its support of science on many fronts, including science education, Do-It-Yourself home tinkering (see my earilier post and this Popular Mechanics podcast), corporate funding, and government funding.

Although this is a distressing trend, there are some positive developments. Including the sudden rush to create X-Prizes, the cultural pushback in books (link) and on the Web (Make Magazine).

Perhaps the place in which I have the least optimism in the area of government funding. Cuts were made in the current budget. In this op-ed Intel Chairman Craig Barrett decries this situation (via Cosmic Variance). He specifically mentions that Congress manages to pass a $250 billion while cutting science funding.

I think part of the problem is the disconnected nature of the some of the advanced science being conducted (post here), some of it is related to ideology. Whatever the problem, it will cost us in the long-run.

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