The War changed all that – the country’s economics boomed, the value of scientific advancement was realized, and the GI Bill sent thousands of men into the sciences that wouldn’t normally have even considered it.
Maybe for the rest of the world, but not
. Here, it’s dying. America
The warning signs had been there: declining achievement in our schools, more and more tech jobs being shipped overseas, and a growing disenchantment with the fruits of scientific advancement. The first clear assault on science came when George W. Bush slashed the federal budget research allotment. The budget was bigger than before, we hadn’t cut spending – defense went way up – but science funding went way down.
The super conductor super collider in
nearly closed its doors. The spot where science could be revolutionized was turning out the lights; meanwhile, the Swiss were building one even better (CERN) which will no doubt be a worthy investment downstream; one that we will most surely regret. Chicago
But this was by no means the only spot where science took a hit. NASA went from being a national treasure, a source of national pride, to being an inconsequential money sucker. Space programs have all but halted. The last space shuttle has launched. It’s over.
|This technology can now fit in your pocket|
It used to be a matter of common sense that you cannot rely on private companies to develop the new technologies that will spark another fire of advancement. What company would shell out money for space travel and super colliders? Companies are out to make money, not change the world.
If you want true innovation, it’s going to have to come from the same place it came from back in the Atomic Age – the classroom and the laboratory. And both areas, quite frankly, are not looking too good. Our public schools have already been in a state of serious decline, and now our teachers have been made scapegoats as the reason their states are broke. What intelligent educated individual in their right mind would ever want to pursue a career in education in this climate?
I, myself, work in a scientific field, so this hits close to home. It is with a heavy heart that I watch the space shuttle program die as
http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/lhc/Facts-en.html. Republicans seem to want to wipe out even more spending on research, and guys like Limbaugh and Hannity try to shame it by pointing out ludicrous grants (Limbaugh loves to ridicule the cow fart grant). But we will surely cut ourselves into last place.