TRUTH about US R&D SPENDING from BRITISH NATURE

Patrick patrick at corona.med.utah.edu
Sun Apr 28 14:06:57 EST 1996


On 27 Apr 1996, Gregory R. Harriman wrote:

[...]
> of more than one Nobel Prize, if he were living today he would not be able
> to do state of the art science in physics, electromagnetism or whatever
> with equipment from the distant past.  For example, if he wanted to do
> applied research on high energy physics he would have to have access to
> expensive particle accelerators.  Likewise in biomedical science, state of
> the art research requires use of expensive equipment and reagents.  If
> you're going to argue against the present day high costs of scientific
> research, try using a more valid analogy.

Add to the cost of equipment and so forth the cost and necessity to 
obtain a high level of education, which itself is expensive.  One simply 
doesn't go out and do "stuff" on a particle accelerator, or run "stuff" 
through an HPLC.  With a firehose rate of information being produced 
and published all the time, the amount of information that needs to be 
covered simply in preparation of any study grows every day.  

What Faraday or Pasteur knew in toto back when is less than primary school 
children are given passing treatment of today.  Having fancy computers 
doens't mean that my father, with education in this direction, could 
design a jet, run a complex quantum physics experiment, or analyze an 
enzyme.  To do any of this stuff today requires a great deal of 
education, not only of the basics of what you want to do, but on how to 
do it with the equipment.  

patrick





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