Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Want a bigger return-on-investment? Try science, not war...

At Forbes, an excellent article on government outlays -- the choices our lawmakers exercise have a profound impact on us. And our children.

We’re in the midst of a remarkable stream of scientific and medical advances, spurred by dramatic advances in biotechnology, computing, and miniaturization. Our knowledge of biology has led to amazing leaps in our understanding of aging, immune responses, inherited diseases, and brain function, to name but a few. And yet we’re cutting science funding, year after year...

We've given up on the Super Conducting Super Collider, and the Tokamak reactor is limping along. Physics (expressed as math) is the study of the mechanical universe -- the basic science that underlies all the natural sciences. Uncovering basic rules of the behavior of matter and energy on every scale like quantum phenomena and the theory of the Big Bang, literally transform transformed our view of the natural world. Inventions like the transistor and the laser have ignited modern technology. Physics consists of many sub-fields, including particle and nuclear physics, atomic and molecular spectroscopy, optics, solid state physics, biological and medical physics, computational physics, acoustics, astrophysics and cosmology. We need to know more, to survive in this great universe.

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