27 March 2006

The cost of doing science

While Brazil is spending a small fortune sending an astronaut to space next Wednesday the Americans are fighting to have the next collider built in the States. The Scientific American editorial The Collider Calamity recalls how the USA lost the Superconducting Super Collider years ago and now have to work abroad at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. And make a strong point:

The design, expense and location of this facility have not yet been determined, but the U.S. should do everything in its power to ensure that it is built, preferably on American soil. Although the project's price tag might ultimately rival that of the Super Collider, the cost of not doing the science would be even higher. (to the Americans).

Brazilians have to understand that spending money to send an astronaut to space is not the right way of doing science in a country like Brazil. Some politicians will have a large midia coverage when they talk to the astronaut at the International Space Station. But that is all. After that everything will be forgotten. And the money is gone.

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