National Research Council president defends cuts to basic science by Harper government
National Research Council president defends cuts to basic science by Harper government: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/touch/news/ottawa/National+Research+Council+president+explains+directions/8019834/story.html?rel=825269
Well why should an increase funding for industry driven research be
equal to cuts to basic science? Why wouldn't industry pay for its own
research? why should taxpayers fund only a handful of industries? who
gets to choose those few industries? why would a federally funded
organization should be so narrow in its focus and work base on such
short term goals? what happens to the expert people and equipment after
the short term goals are met, they get changed all over again? if no
investments are made in basic science, sooner or later industry will run
out of innovative technologies and ways of doing things anyway, so
funding for basic research will have economical and social benefits at
the end anyway... "McDougall has swung the NRC in new directions since
Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed him nearly three years ago: More
effort at solving problems of industry, less “curiosity-driven” work
with no obvious, immediate application. This has unsettled some of
his own scientists, who have complained that science proceeds best when
it’s not directed by short-term industrial goals. Some outsiders
have warned of a possible loss of science ability, including Nobel Prize
winner John Polanyi. Rolf-Dieter Heuer, head of the CERN particle
physics lab, urged the federal cabinet to support “the richness of basic
science and the importance of basic science” when he visited NRC in
2011. He didn’t mention NRC by name, but NRC’s $900-million budget puts
it at the heart of federal science."
This is a great read: http://sixthestate.net/?p=1498 "Even without that, I think this new “poster child” program is a terrible idea. The reason we have federal science institutions in the first place is because industry won’t fund projects that don’t have obvious short-term commercial applications, but sometimes those projects are worth doing anyways.
The fact that you’re reading this blog at all is proof of that — the
Internet is a limited IT research project that has been driven
exponentially beyond anything that was initially envisioned. So are
antibiotics, to name another useful (and even profitable) example. I
could go on, but the point is, there’s a role for basic science.
Especially since if you don’t have basic science, the limits of what
applied science can do are never going to move much either."
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a grassroots, nonpartisan movement of ordinary Canadians
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