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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.