Physics in the US

This is kind of sad – and interesting at the same time. I quote two paragraphs:

Scientists who work on fundamental physics, especially in the U.S., are feeling a kind of urgency these days — we have to hurry up and get as much research done as we can before the government puts us completely out of business. Belle Waring complains about the shutdown of the Voyager mission, which is indeed a shame, if mostly for sentimental reasons. A much harder hit is NASA’s cancellation of the Astrophysics Data Analysis and Long Term Space Astrophysics programs. These programs were a main way to support young scientists (grad students, postdocs, junior faculty) working on theory and data analysis with broad application to NASA’s satellite observatories. In other words, in the midst of a golden age of new theories and experiments, we are strangling the field at the point where new blood is entering.

For those of you with more Earth-based concerns, you should know that the U.S. is also basically abandoning experimental particle physics (pdf version if that one is inaccessible). The Tevatron at Fermilab will run through the end of the decade, after which there is basically nothing left in the budget for high-energy physics in the U.S. By that time the focus will move to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, and the traditional brain-drain of bright physicists from Europe to the U.S. will reverse its direction. My real interest is in the health of the field, not in maintaining U.S. dominance, but it will be hard for the field to stay very healthy if the U.S. isn’t a major player. Our best hope for a turnaround is if the U.S. makes a serious bid to host the International Linear Collider; but that’s a long way off, and the tea leaves don’t look so promising. (Update: Just noticed that Peter wrote about the same thing.)

Read the whole article and consider the implications it has for continued scientific supremecy by the US. Then go to the comments, those of you who are interested in evolution will not be suprised to note that physics sites have creationist trolls too.


4 Responses

  1. Oh, man, that is a shame. Then there is all the money going for weapons expermentation. Hell!

  2. Afarensis, your link doesn’t work.

    In the code, it looks like this – there is the http for blogger, then right after it is the http for preposterousuniverse blog.


    Try – this one to get directly to the post. “”

  3. Excellent – now, it works. 🙂

  4. Sometimes bloggeer has a mind of it’s own and adds code! I don’t know where that came from, but that’s the second or third time that has happened.

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