linking back to

My lab:
In the beginning, there was bear DNA. Then the projector for the quintessential planetarium experience. Last Friday it was research on fruit flies. Which research project a semi-educated Republican politician doesn't understand will be next? Most people who read this obscure blog will either be US researchers or those with friends and colleagues over there. Your project could be next! Why, I wouldn't put it past these ignoramuses to propose cutting all science spending, since the few million dollars saved by the projects they outline doesn't really change much in the face of roughly a 10 trillion dollar debt. After all, "you have to be a purblind slavering zombie of the Rethuglican party" to think of McCain/Palin as actually pro-science and only anti-earmark.
Now let's see how the US federal research budget compares to the annual budget deficit. For fiscal year 2008, the US budget deficit was US$438 billion. The research budget for FY 2008 was $143.0 billion, of which only $55.4 billion would go to research. All non-defense R&D are roughly $60 billion. In contrast, the FY 2008 defense budget amounts to $481.4 billion. Now let's put that into visual perspective:


This graph was computed assuming $3 million for each of the three earmarked science projects and an approximate $400 billion in yearly intrest payments for the $10 trillion in debt. It shows how utterly ridiculous it is to try to start saving money by cutting down science. Even if you were to cut all non-military R&D spending, it wouldn't really make all that much of a difference for the budget. But it makes a difference in the lives of millions of people in temrs of longevity, health, education, standard of living, etc. So basically, science is an endeavor with comparatively minor costs but a huge benefit for the public. What is the cost benefit ratio for defense spending, I wonder?

Given these considerations, I think it's plainly obvious that the McCain/Palin ticket is clearly anti-science. It's not the earmarks, it's not the specific projects - the only reason the campaign is attacking these projects is because they are scientific projects, which are inherently unintelligible for the feeble minded.
Posted on Monday 27 October 2008 - 15:06:24 comment: 0

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