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[–] HarveyKlinger 3 points 35 points (+38|-3) ago 

Part of the problem with US "science" is they come up with a conclusion then present data that supports that conclusion, even if they have to fudge some numbers a little bit. That's not science. It's competing for federal grant money.

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[–] rwbj 2 points 8 points (+10|-2) ago  (edited ago)

I completely agree with you that the funding for science is completely messed up. It's requiring science to begin to interweave with for-profit or for-power interests and that is completely bastardizing many fields of science. At the same time, this was a related but different issue. The individual in question is one of the top American scientists in particle physics. And he was mostly frustrated that the US doesn't seem to have the ability to really "dream big" anymore. The example he gives is the US decisions to cancel our planned super collider in 1993. That put experimental particle physics on a 15 year hold until the Large Hadron Collider was built, in Switzerland, in 2008.

And I think that's a really good point. The Apollo program was something that will be remembered for centuries. The Manhattan Project, for better or for worse, will as well. Go further back and the US was the center of the theoretic physics that would eventually unravel the mystery of relativity. And so on. But zooming ahead of the Apollo program it gets harder and harder to start seeing big American accomplishments. The issue is that we're still spending massive amounts of money on projects, but they don't really provide any meaningful benefit. For instance the F-35 program is expected to cost more than $1.5 trillion after all is said and done. And the only product there is a moderately incremental jet fighter. And that's in an ideal case. In reality, it's a hamstrung jet fighter that was just grounded indefinitely after widespread reports of pilot hypoxia - a year after it was occasionally bursting into flames during launch. We've gone from the epicenter of science to... this.

It really does make one wonder where our capability to dream big has gone. It's what made America the nation that it is. 50 years ago China was a technologically backwards, unstable country that was literally starving. 50 years ago America was a country with an incredibly strong middle class, massive socioeconomic mobility for anybody willing to work hard, and a country not only dreaming but actively working towards putting people on the moon. It should go without saying that without a sharp change of direction we're not suddenly going to sharply change direction in the next 50 years.

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[–] BarelyCoherent 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

That's not the only part of the problem. There is also an over supply of post graduate students turning out sub standard research. Over the last 20-30 years I have the watched the level of "new" research decline and thus more PhD's granted. The same techniques used to find a different micro-rna marker for the same cancer is not new research. It's sufficient for a paper not a PhD!

Further there is the problem with the "produce papers or die mentality", which looks like it might be being phased out. I have seen separate papers written by the same sub-group of authors published in different journals reporting the same information. It looks like They just jumbled up the order such that they can pass the "new unpublished paper" required by a lot of these journals.

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[–] ArtsyLiberationz 2 points 2 points (+4|-2) ago 

Another Example might be the Bush Admins cancellation of Stem Cell Research, the science then leaves the USA and goes to Australia, China, Japan and some European countries. George W. Bush also vetoed a spending bill that aimed to boost federal funding for the National Institutes of Health. In the Britain., Singapore, South Korea, China, Japan and a handful of other nations, research on ES cells enjoys generous government support.

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[–] HighEnergyLife 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

You're spot on. Peter Theil talked a little about this in his book "Zero to One"

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[–] dwhipwhipplez 1 points 1 points (+2|-1) ago 

I think this is the general effect due to restriction on funding. When you restrict the resource competition increases. Competition not always a good thing as we can see it leads to cheating if the incentives are perverse or resources are scarce.

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[–] BigDaddy69 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Who's "science" should we compare to?

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[–] HarveyKlinger 1 points 3 points (+4|-1) ago 

Science isn't a competition. It's not about comparing to others. It's about doing scientific research and reporting on the findings whether you like the data or not. American "scientists" now are researching stupid things, prioritizing political agendas, and focusing on getting grant money.

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[–] Mylon 1 points 0 points (+1|-1) ago 

That's an artifact if there being too little money. They can't afford to do much real science so yes, their primary goal is to have funding so they can do science at all.

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[–] lemon11 1 points 19 points (+20|-1) ago 

“We were hoping that by going there, we will be able to make our universities more democratic,” says Jafar Arkani-Hamed.

Science is exploration of material reality. It's the opposite of democracy.

This piece is two thirds human interest fluff, and just ends in pointless complaining about Trump in the standard communist "science is settled" way, without explaining what the subject of the piece thinks. No surprise for such a site named as it is.

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[–] SquarebobSpongebutt 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Too many think consensus makes things right. That includes many "scientists". If the majority of the US believes the Flying Spaghetti Monster created Global Warming when he decided to reheat last nights dinner, it doesn't make it right.

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[–] 9500196? 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Exactly. Global Leftovers theory stands strong on its own merit, not because of consensus.

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[–] Bluetoothache 2 points 18 points (+20|-2) ago 

A tourist who always wanted to visit Europe says it is no longer safe or welcoming.

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[–] rwbj 1 points 3 points (+4|-1) ago 

He's a renowned American particle physicist who has been working in the US for decades.

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[–] BigDaddy69 2 points 3 points (+5|-2) ago 

Compared to most of earth, most of Europe is safe. It's called "Terrorism", not "effective warfare".

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[–] Fibbideh 1 points 3 points (+4|-1) ago 

If you have to compare yourself to a shithole in africa or the middle east to see yourself as "good" then you need to readjust your standards.

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[–] Dfens 4 points 14 points (+18|-4) ago 

Recent political developments, like President Trump backing the US out of the Paris climate agreement and proposing cuts to science funding, are a small part of it.

Yeah, it's almost like physics is more about politics than science.

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[–] Apathy 1 points 6 points (+7|-1) ago 

Given the "diversity" quotas, as long as that bs exists, any science that is worthless or doesn't produce results should be cut.

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[–] Mylon 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Null results are very useful to the field of science as it tells us what NOT to test. But they're not sexy so they don't get published and the experiments end up being repeated. Such a waste of resources.

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[–] BigDaddy69 2 points 2 points (+4|-2) ago 

any science that is worthless or doesn't produce results should be cut.

This is an incredibly dangerous line of thinking, because "worth" is subjective. If Ford just gave people what they wanted, they would be riding on faster horses.

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[–] ThatFireFlameNew 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Part of the issue with science now is every scientist is forced to always pick the low hanging fruit because funding has forced research into a "results" based a.k.a. as many publications as possible system. Defining results is a difficult task. When there isn't enough money to go around like this, the natural outcome is that people are forced to politicize and degrade their scientific integrity in order to maintain their career.

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[–] canbot 1 points 10 points (+11|-1) ago  (edited ago)

We are in the second dark ages of science. In the first if you said anything that challenged the church you were destroyed, and your research burned. Today if you say anything that challenges the liberal propoganda the same thing happens.

If a person on the street tells you they are god, you can prove they are not and everyone agrees that person is mentally ill. If a person on the street tells you they are a woman and you can prove they are a man you are wrong. Your proof is worthless despite being scientifically sound and irrefutable.

If you try to measure intelligence you are attacked as a racist and told it is simply impossible to measure.

You can conduct your research only if it does not upset a minority group.

Over the centuries the center of scientific discovery has moved around the world. This is how we pass it off to China. They do not show the same eagerness to destroy intelligence in order to protect feelings.

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[–] littul_kitton 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

If you try to measure intelligence you are attacked as a racist and told it is simply impossible to measure.

Nope. The believe blindly and virulently in the genetics of IQ. Saying "you are racist" is what psychologists call an expressed preference. But if you look at the choices they make, they systematically abort their own unborn babies to weed out genetic retardation like Down's Syndrome, which is their revealed preference.

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[–] UchihaMadara 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

well said

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[–] rwbj 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago 

Cliff notes since nobody seems to be bother to actually read the article before repeating whatever their own biases are:

  • Specifically states that very recent things like Trump's actions in regards to climate science or funding decisions are not a big part of the problem

  • Big problem is US losing ability to 'think big' which predates Trump.

  • Offers example of particle physics where the US was set, at one time, to be the leader. Instead the US project was cancelled and years later the large hadron collider in Switzerland became the epicenter of particle physics. To give a time scale to his view, this collider the superconducting super collider was cancelled in 1993. The LHC was completed in 2008.

  • Believes future of science will likely be China, who is showing ability to think big. They will likely be the home of the next major supercollider which is looking to be twice the scale of the LHC.

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[–] Giult 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Thanks a lot for this!

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[–] rwbj 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago 

I assumed this was clickbait, but the person this article is talking about is Nima Arkani-Hamed. To give the article some context he is one of the biggest names in particle physics and a household name of sorts in US science. Put another way often times it seems these things are either nobodies trying to make a name for themselves through politics, or somebody trying to become somebody by tearing other people down. That is definitely not the case here. The title's also somewhat misleading. He's American - born in Texas where his father (both parents Iranian) was working on the Apollo project.

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[–] leweb 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Indeed. That center will soon be China. Look at what the US and Chinese governments are spending on scientific research.

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