Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2010 13:58:37 -

Author: Dr. Richard Tarara

Subject: Re: Electrostatics - Concern About Rabbits


----- Original Message -----
From: "Urs Lauterburg"
> Well the existence of nuclear weapons and even industrial waste may have
> more to do with politics than with science. Pure science is value-free as
> long as it isn't applied.

But just how do you get funding for 'pure' science? OK--you might con some
governments into giving you some money in order to bolster 'national
prestige', but the tax-payer is going to shy away very quickly if there is
no 'pay-off' in the end. Look what happened to the U.S. moon program, the
super collider, and now to the International Space Station. Politicians
(spurred on by overtaxed constituents) don't want to pay for 'pure'
knowledge--they want applications that are tangible. One can only cite
Teflon, Tang, and Velcro so many times before people catch on. I would
venture to say that we, as scientists, have not done a very good job of
'selling' what we do to the 'common man'. However, if we could get those
people to watch the Science Channel (and its clones) that's where the PR has
been good--at least for BIG SCIENCE and especially for astronomy and
astro-physics. The case for billions to find the Higgs is less
convincing--but the scale of the project offers enough 'shock and awe' to
keep people initially online! ;-)


Richard W. Tarara
Professor of Physics
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN
Free Physics Software
New multi-input energy simulator--plays similar to the Montana State analog

From Mon Apr 5 14:36:57 2010