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Old 01-08-2012, 08:55 PM
 
3,426 posts, read 2,791,710 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
<points to the thread title>

P.S. Some of those fields have likely gotten MORE funding admist a backlash to a fringe groups protestations.
So you are saying that fringe groups actually cause some of these fields to grow? Source please.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
3,608 posts, read 4,777,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orogenicman View Post
Oh please. Unless you've lived in a bubble for the past 25 years, then you cannot deny the ongoing fight (much of it on religious grounds) over national science policy and the budgets to fund it. And by the way, I said nothing about the space budget specifically, did I?

Science opposed by fundamentalist evangelicals and other religious folk:

Stem cell research;

Cosmology research;

Evolutionary biology;

Contraceptives and related research and clinical work;

Paleontology and related fields;

Physical and historical geology;

Psychology and neuroscience-related research;

Science education.

In effect, anything that contracts their own narrow scripture-based world view.

I'd give you a blow by blow of each of these, but I suspect you are at least as good at doing google searches as I am.
I think it's a bit of a jump to say that because some people oppose certain kinds of scientific research that scientific funding issues are caused by elected anti-science evangelicals. Certainly there have been a few high-profile cases of scientific funds being misused or misdirected for purely political purposes, but I'm unaware of any of funding controversies in large slices of what you mentioned. Do politicians hold up funding on geology and evolutionary biology programs because of evangelicals? They certainly have funded a great deal of CMB research over the last decade.

I think the bulk of the funding "crunch" comes from a lack of resources. For one, the US already spends more on science than any other country and ranks fourth on this list of funding as a percentage of GDP (Funding of science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia so it's hard to complain too loudly. For another, I think scientists don't do a great job of convincing people that scientific research is in their long-term interests as taxpayers.

Yeah it stinks that people don't like particular kinds of science or worse choose not to understand or willfully ignore scientific thought, but the downside of a democracy is that you have to coexist with people who radically disagree with you. Considering the relative populations of scientists (about 22m s+e in us in 2006) and evangelicals (70m-80m), I think scientists are actually doing ok in terms of convincing the population and getting controversial subjects funded.
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Old 01-13-2012, 04:33 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,884 posts, read 5,237,267 times
Reputation: 2737
We're at an inflection point in the world (2012), I wonder if the US is going to notice?

China,

-Man to the moon.
-High speed rail.
-Infrastructure building, investment.
-Natural resource investments around the world.
-Beating us in science and engineering.

$3 trillion in reserves.

US,

-Space program stalling or declining for 30 years.
-Declining infrastructure.
-Outdated foreign policy (i.e. Cuba). No money for natural resources.
-Science and engineering?

More like no child left behind, social engineering and political correctness...latino studies, women studies, etc. While the US is busy appeasing everybody (students), China is hard at work on fundamentals.

If things keep going the way they're going, we're going to have to buy space parts from China in 30 years.
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Old 01-13-2012, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
3,608 posts, read 4,777,981 times
Reputation: 4663
Quote:
Originally Posted by John23 View Post
We're at an inflection point in the world (2012), I wonder if the US is going to notice?

China,

-Man to the moon.
-High speed rail.
-Infrastructure building, investment.
-Natural resource investments around the world.
-Beating us in science and engineering.

$3 trillion in reserves.

US,

-Space program stalling or declining for 30 years.
-Declining infrastructure.
-Outdated foreign policy (i.e. Cuba). No money for natural resources.
-Science and engineering?

More like no child left behind, social engineering and political correctness...latino studies, women studies, etc. While the US is busy appeasing everybody (students), China is hard at work on fundamentals.

If things keep going the way they're going, we're going to have to buy space parts from China in 30 years.
It may seem like we're getting beat in science and engineering, but that's not the case at all. We're losing our edge, so it can feel like we've lost our lead, but we're still ahead in science and engineering capability and knowledge. Chinese students still come here by the thousands to study science and engineering in our Universities; many of the best of those stay here as professionals and academics and become Americans, too.
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:51 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
18,114 posts, read 20,180,784 times
Reputation: 14051
Quote:
Originally Posted by John23 View Post
We're at an inflection point in the world (2012), I wonder if the US is going to notice?

China,

-Man to the moon.
-High speed rail.
-Infrastructure building, investment.
-Natural resource investments around the world.
-Beating us in science and engineering.

$3 trillion in reserves.

US,

-Space program stalling or declining for 30 years.
-Declining infrastructure.
-Outdated foreign policy (i.e. Cuba). No money for natural resources.
-Science and engineering?

More like no child left behind, social engineering and political correctness...latino studies, women studies, etc. While the US is busy appeasing everybody (students), China is hard at work on fundamentals.

If things keep going the way they're going, we're going to have to buy space parts from China in 30 years.
I don't know where you're getting most of that from. China has not sent a man to the moon. They have not even soft-landed any spacecraft on the moon. So far, they've only crash landed - something the Soviets did in 1959 and the U.S in 1962. Don't get ahead of yourself.

As for high speed rail, it seems to be a common misconception, but the U.S does have high speed rail in the northeast corridor, connecting all the major cities between Washington, D.C. and Boston (look up Acela Express). It is capable of reaching 150 mph. Infrastructure is expanding, not declining here.

China's GDP per capita is only 16% that of the U.S. China has a long way to go before it matches the standard of living in western countries.

Last edited by BigCityDreamer; 01-14-2012 at 12:36 PM..
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Old 01-14-2012, 12:30 PM
 
33,812 posts, read 17,312,451 times
Reputation: 18554
Quote:
Originally Posted by John23 View Post
If things keep going the way they're going, we're going to have to buy space parts from China in 30 years.
China has a total of 3 manned launches to LEO under their belt, in a span of 8 years.
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:04 PM
 
3,426 posts, read 2,791,710 times
Reputation: 3318
Quote:
If things keep going the way they're going, we're going to have to buy space parts from China in 30 years.
We already buy components from China.
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:37 AM
 
Location: Ohio
3,441 posts, read 5,273,458 times
Reputation: 2678
Quote:
Originally Posted by plwhit View Post
Time and Space, meet motorman, motorman meet Time and Space.
But T&S thinks the Apollo 18 "secret" footage proves we went there but were attacked by moon rock monsters, THAT is why we never went back.
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
3,608 posts, read 4,777,981 times
Reputation: 4663
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
As for high speed rail, it seems to be a common misconception, but the U.S does have high speed rail in the northeast corridor, connecting all the major cities between Washington, D.C. and Boston (look up Acela Express). It is capable of reaching 150 mph. Infrastructure is expanding, not declining here.
I take it that you've either never ridden the Acela Express or real high speed rail. It goes fast from Boston to Providence, but it feels glacial through Connecticut.

As for why we don't have high speed rail, the cost-effectiveness is non-linearly related to population density. It's great for places like Eastern China and Western Europe where the density is high; it might be effective in the Northeast Corridor now and other parts of the US in the future (either with reduced infrastructure costs or increased density), but it's too expensive for most of our widely separated country.
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:00 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
18,114 posts, read 20,180,784 times
Reputation: 14051
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrandom View Post
I take it that you've either never ridden the Acela Express or real high speed rail. It goes fast from Boston to Providence, but it feels glacial through Connecticut.

As for why we don't have high speed rail, the cost-effectiveness is non-linearly related to population density. It's great for places like Eastern China and Western Europe where the density is high; it might be effective in the Northeast Corridor now and other parts of the US in the future (either with reduced infrastructure costs or increased density), but it's too expensive for most of our widely separated country.
This is true, for the reasons you mentioned. I was just pointing out that the Acela Express is defined as high speed rail, technically speaking, even though it's not as advanced as others in the world right now.

But I give credit where credit is due. And no doubt, high speed rail is one area where China's advancements are quite impressive. They have the population and density for it, as they have 4 times the population of the U.S.
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