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20. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 25, 2013, 18:44 Cutter
sauron wrote on Jan 25, 2013, 10:27:
Good article on Neil Degrasse Tyson's speech. A lot of it is true - government can fund basic science like nobody else. Other organizations always have a specific goal - curing a disease or making money.

Interestingly, the NIH has deliberately shifted towards translational research over the last 5 years. That means research focused on addressing human disease. For people like me, that's fine since I work on diseases of the brain and spinal cord. But if I was working on fly or worm development or something basic, I'd be in trouble.

You may not think that fly and worm development are very important, but most of the genes we know about today that are linked to human disease originally came from exactly those studies. It just takes a while for the studies to go from flies, to mice, to humans.

If what he said was true private enterprise would be all over it. It's not though so it's just another entitlement plea so that someone else pays for him to do stuff he wants to do. Get a real job. I'm not saying it isn't interesting or important it's just not John Q. Taxpayer's job to pay for it when his major concern is keeping a roof over his head, 3 squares a day and retiring without becoming homeless.

Government's only job - apart from basic oversight - should be to keep religious kooks from meddling in science's affairs. Think about how far stem research would be by now.
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