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September 18, 2005

Comments

Kyle

Well, I personally wouldn’t characterize their sell as all that easy, though it certainly might be easier than your sell. The easy sell in science is when there is an obvious financial benefit. Working in CVD diamond growth, where we have applications in tools, semiconductors, electrodes, gems and heat sinks (to name a very few) the sell is a lot easier than anyone in space or astrophysics. Money is the name of the game, and those sciences that will eventually make it will always have an easier time than those that primarily spend it. You don’t need to tell me that there are great gains to be had studying fundamental science with no obvious benefit; it’s those who provide funding who place emphasis on the lowest hanging fruit.

A while back on another forum someone mentioned that they felt that the Superconducting Super Collider died because its name sounded silly. I’m not sure how true that is, but I bet you it would have had a better shot at staying in business if it had been called the Military and Civilian Technology Advancer instead.

Caolionn

Fair point. I was thinking only of experiments in the "strictly science for science" category. Thankfully, I think we have started to avoid the empty promises associated with spin-off technologies. But it is inevitable that we should lose out to experiments that promise a cure for cancer. I'll take that as a given.

As for selling our science to military, see:
http://qd.typepad.com/13/2005/04/selling_bomb_bu.html

God help us if we start taking such an approach for funding.

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