Posted by Erik W on Dec 20, 2010 9:59 PM
Yes. Politicians should completely determine the merits of science grants and slash the National Science Foundation. Just like how Sarah Palin exclaimed how "Taxpayers' money are being wasted on 'things like fruit fly research'". We don't need to know about genetics! What good can possibly come from the government throwing money at science? (hint: it's The Internet) If we're going to compete in this global economy, we need to catch up in technology. And while I acknowledge and usually support the free market argument, my personal belief is that, in order to improve society as a whole, public goods (like knowledge) and basic infrastructure should be aided by the government. This guy says it well:
Privately-funded science produces things like Viagra and a Coke Can made with 1% less aluminium.
Publicly-funded science produces things like vaccines and the Internet.
I know which of the above I think are a better use of time and money.