Science funded by government: Good or bad?
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24-09-2011, 11:03 AM
 
Science funded by government: Good or bad?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_PVI6V6o-4

This video argues against the government funding for science, and raises some interesting points I think.

What are your views on this subject? Do you disagree with the message in the video? If you do, explain why.

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24-09-2011, 04:04 PM (This post was last modified: 24-09-2011 04:11 PM by Peterkin.)
RE: Science funded by government: Good or bad?
Without watching the video (maybe later), i have to ask:
What are the alternatives?
Original research may be funded by government, institutions of higher learning, NGO's, corporations or the scientist himself.
The independent guy working in his garage probably won't get far, given what scientific equipment costs these days.
Corporations have a purpose: to make money. So they won't underwrite any research that's not directed toward profit, or that will take too long, or that is uncertain. And when something useful does result, the corporation owns it and doesn't have to share it, so most of the world won't benefit.
NGO's have to find money somewhere, usually private subscription. Their mandate is usually specific, so any research one of these organizations sponsors will pretty much have to be aimed at results desired by the organization and the product is, again, the property of the sponsor. Constrained situation for scientists.
Universities should be able to host, equip and staff pure, unfettered research, the results of which can be turned to the benefit of all humankind. Except, of course, universities are beggars, not choosers. (Shame on us!)
That leaves only government to fund anything that might save all our asses from annihilation.

Okay, i tried to listen. British English isn't altogether unfamiliar to me, but this guy is really difficult to follow, with his abrupt changes in pitch and volume. I didn't get very far into it before i gave up trying to understand. Anybody with better ears want to give a synopsis?

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24-09-2011, 04:23 PM
 
RE: Science funded by government: Good or bad?
Some people treat the government as the ‘enemy’. Some people treat it as our savior from corporate greed.

This debate about ‘private’ or ‘government’ is silly.

We are the same species, however we organize ourselves. We all depend on cooperation and division of labour, specialization in our own expertise. We all benefit when progress is made. It does not matter a goddamn who made the forward step.

The question is, as usual: who rips off whom.

The corporate world is well understood. They want to rip off everybody to the maximum. It is in their charter. It is against the law not to.

The government is supposed to be OUR GOVERNMENT, protecting our common good and common interests. Granted, they are not doing a good job, serving the bastards more than serving us but, still, at least in principle, they are supposed to represent us.

So, to whatever extent it is possible, allow governments to do their job, funding universities where most of the research is supposed to be done. Used to be in heroic (as opposed to bean-counting) times, giving us our greatest breakthroughs that resulted in our affluence: discovering laws of motion and mechanics, discovering electricity, discovering the polio vaccine.
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24-09-2011, 04:42 PM
RE: Science funded by government: Good or bad?
I forgot to say: "Government:, in my scheme of things, doesn't mean the military. That's a whole other kettle of spoiled fish.

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26-09-2011, 01:12 AM
RE: Science funded by government: Good or bad?
(24-09-2011 04:23 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  Some people treat the government as the ‘enemy’. Some people treat it as our savior from corporate greed.

This debate about ‘private’ or ‘government’ is silly.

We are the same species, however we organize ourselves. We all depend on cooperation and division of labour, specialization in our own expertise. We all benefit when progress is made. It does not matter a goddamn who made the forward step.

The question is, as usual: who rips off whom.

The corporate world is well understood. They want to rip off everybody to the maximum. It is in their charter. It is against the law not to.

The government is supposed to be OUR GOVERNMENT, protecting our common good and common interests. Granted, they are not doing a good job, serving the bastards more than serving us but, still, at least in principle, they are supposed to represent us.

So, to whatever extent it is possible, allow governments to do their job, funding universities where most of the research is supposed to be done. Used to be in heroic (as opposed to bean-counting) times, giving us our greatest breakthroughs that resulted in our affluence: discovering laws of motion and mechanics, discovering electricity, discovering the polio vaccine.

The government is just as eager to rip you off as any corporation, they just don't do it head on. Governments are run by people who are interested in consolidating their own power and holding onto that power at any cost.

They will fund scientific endeavors that help them win votes and they will fund scientific endeavors that get money sent to their friends (lobbyists). That system is as corrupt as any other, the only difference is that there is no consideration of how good the final product actually will be.

Corporations aren't trying to "rip you off". They want to make a product that can be sold. They want a product that works better than their competitions. They will be ruthless in how they go about doing this, but they will tend to fund scientific endeavors that perform well, not ones that give them political power (because they have no use for political power, but rather economic power).

I'd rather trust someone who is up front about their dirty motives than someone who lies to me about them through a smile.

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26-09-2011, 05:19 AM
 
RE: Science funded by government: Good or bad?
(26-09-2011 01:12 AM)17thknight Wrote:  The government is just as eager to rip you off as any corporation, they just don't do it head on.

Same comment as I made in the "Support our troops" thread.

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26-09-2011, 04:02 PM
RE: Science funded by government: Good or bad?
(26-09-2011 05:19 AM)Zatamon Wrote:  
(26-09-2011 01:12 AM)17thknight Wrote:  The government is just as eager to rip you off as any corporation, they just don't do it head on.

Same comment as I made in the "Support our troops" thread.

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Lol, roger that Big Grin

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02-10-2011, 07:12 PM
RE: Science funded by government: Good or bad?
(26-09-2011 05:19 AM)Zatamon Wrote:  
(26-09-2011 01:12 AM)17thknight Wrote:  The government is just as eager to rip you off as any corporation, they just don't do it head on.

Same comment as I made in the "Support our troops" thread.

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Of course saying it more than once doesnt make it true.
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