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ECT News Community   »   TechNewsWorld Talkback   »   Re: Scientists and Engineers at War over NASA

Re: Scientists and Engineers at War over NASA
Posted by: Robert Zimmerman 2004-12-30 10:35:28
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Public and political support is growing for President George W. Bush's ambitious plan for space exploration, but at least one scientific organization has cast doubts about Bush's vision -- although whether those doubts carry any weight or have much validity is debatable. On November 22, less than three weeks after Bush's convincing victory in the presidential election, the American Physical Society published an analysis of the administration's proposal to refocus the U.S. space program away from the space shuttle and International Space Station.

Re: Scientists and Engineers at War over NASA
Posted by: smedz0713 2005-01-04 11:11:50 In reply to: Robert Zimmerman
I am interested to know what statistics were used to support the author's claim that "... many [Scientists] are Democrats and thus are by circumstance predisposed to mistrust the goals of a Republican administration". Are there any such statistics available to support such a claim?

Re: Scientists and Engineers at War over NASA
Posted by: Kagehi 2004-12-30 11:07:15 In reply to: Robert Zimmerman
There shouldn't be a priority imho. They need to coexist. What good does it do at all to know that water might exist/have existed on Mars if they are not going to bloody use it for anything? What good does knowing early galaxy formation do, if it doesn't translate into usable information? Yes, it is good to know, since it 'may' translate into useful information at some point, but short of some 'major' discovery, its not going to result in short term gains in technology. There has to be some balance.
Sadly, the situation is partisan on both sides, with those in the Republican side of things often attacking basic research, even when it might potentially provide 'major' gains, simply because they don't understand what is actually being researched or how it applies to anything.
Of course, one of the more serious issues is scientific blindness anyway. There is often a flawed perception that, even though they all play with the same or similar sets of rules, that one area of research doesn't translate to another. However, it is quite possible that some engineering advance for human endevours could 'discover' something that is key to an entirely unrelated field. The scientific community is often just too focused on their individual specialties to ever see it. I seem to remember reading here, or perhaps on another site, about a company making money off of precisely that flaw, by basically looking for the stuff the specialists inevitably miss. And its these blind specialists who are probably screaming the loudest about the whole situation. lol
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