The science budget is one of the area’s most likely to be cut or at least frozen when the cuts in government spending begin to bite. However many scientists criticise this as undermining our economy in the longer term. The Obama administration in the USA is increasing its science budget and the rising powers of India and China continue to concentrate on sciences. Should we be cutting funding?
All the Yes points:
All the No points:
No quick physics
The advancement of the human race is majoritavely down to science. If we look at anything in the world around us then science and resarch using the scientific method has been there. The most obvious example is that which I am writing now. Without the advancments that science has been able to make these word I am writing on mylaptop would be on paper and you would certainly not be able to read them so instantly.
Did this happen instantly? Of course not it took many moons, of small steps at a time. Now we are at a time where critical scientific needs are waiting to be made. Global warming, energy supplies dwindling, more complex bugs, and ageing population and a growing third world with not enough food. This issues cannot be solved overnight and even the mostminute experiments in universities become necessary in building the blocks that willmark the next big expansion.
With these problems on the horizon it is most blatnatly time to invest in these problems potential soloutionswhich can only be further scientific advancment, improving the yields of crops, alternative fuels, otherwise we could find ourselves in deep trouble and stagnating.
The Industrial revolution has arguably been the fastest period of economic growth in history, and the funding provided by the government to science was effectively zero.
Instead people like Brunel would seek investment and the market system would very effectively differentiate between good investment in science and bad investment.
Historically governments have tended to be very bad at this, wasting huge amounts of money. In a time with such an enormous budget deficit, throwing more money at high speed trains and concord type experiments that do not make financial sense would be an alarming move.
Also Theoretical physics has very nearly never had any practical benefits(to an economy) apart being highly correlated with genius and being the glamour-science.
In the complexity of modern economic society, the most valuable commodoities are not naturally sourced, they are instead man made creations. It is scientific advancments and ability to turn unvaluable raw materials into desirable commodities that creates so much of the wealth on which western society now depends. The countries that have a large amount of raw materials tendto be poor,while Britain is wealthy because of its technological advancments.
If investment in science and funding of its advancement was cut it will put Britain in a precarious scenario. It would be robbing its future of one of the few avliablesources of future wealth. While this may not effect the short term interests it would surely effect the long terminterests and prosperity, and create oppotunities for modernisin geconomies to take other.
Wealth has been created by scientific advancments, but now the majority of money is not in the manufacturing,or indeed sceintifc advancments,it is in the ability to manipulate goods for sale. For example the money that comes to Briatin from BMW and Vaxuhall is the same, they produce cars, but the ability to market them and sellthem is where the weatlh is now generated, rather than the product itself. Scientific advancement can certainlyinthelong term produce wealth. But in the short term the cost is too high when development can equally be gained by using another countries scientific advancement, also letting them foot the bill.
While we may appear to be inching ourselves out of recession at the moment, it does not mean we can expect jobs to be created, there is still work to do on this front and in this respect, Science can play a crucial part. In terms of making more long term money the case is obvious,but it also creates the jobs for people to go into. Unemplyment is a major concern and where science funding offers the dual advantages of more jobs and better paid jobs, resulting in more wealth, its funding becomes an important aspect effecting all sectors of society.
Already existing science job vacancies; creating skills,to create jobs that employ those skills when jobs like that already exist and are being taken up by immigrants,seems like an odd way to go about things.
Millions should be spent in creating jobs that require skills jobless people(the unemployed) already have.
Science/technical job vacancies and immigration
Most science-technical job vacancies in the western worlds are taken by immigrants. In fact Canada and the U.S tailor their immigration policies to attract and give citizenship to mainly techies and doctors. Immigrants in Canada have double the education rate than that of locals.
The entire continent of Europe has a need for immigrants mainly because of a science-education deficit-[[http://www.newsweek.com/id/233913]]
Britain needs doctors and techies from all over the world too; mainly because there are not nearly enough high-quality home-produced techies/doctors in Britain.
The G.B.P has recently matched the Euro and bad long-term planning has the leading role. The U.K cannot afford to make the same mistakes as the rest of Europe.
If you have to out immigration and David Cameron intends to; then the only way to curb continual and massive economic-slumping/plummeting is to train/educate locals to fill in the gaps.
Britain cannot afford to be strict on immigration(given all the racist under and over-tones that surround that side of the policy debate) and as stated on the column on my left, immigrants are needed to fill in tech-vacancies/studies.
If immigrants can fill in vacancies then the locals need not be trained to be proficient in science.
Immigration will not be halted/curbed/stagnated to a stop any time soon.
Obviously with a war going on, the endless need to supply the NHS and other domestic services, and a huge defeciet, it is important to balance the books carefully. To pump millions into science funding that can offer little or no immediate return is a foolish waste of money at such a time of need that it cannot be justified.
General opinion is that war-spending is a waste of British money.
Sending just a few British troops to Afghanistan to fight alongside masses of Americans and locals is a fruitless investment(both short and long-term)
The N.H.S has been a recent disappointment, primarily because science education in Britain is not up to the mark.Better medical staff is a very important factor in better medical service.
Science funding can provide immediate return in terms of Doctors/Nurses/Engineers who/that will graduate this year.
Also in terms of higher-quality refresher courses that any scientist/science-person/doctor/nurse/etc in this day and age has to take; to perform optimally(in an ever-changing competitive environment of day-to-day scientific breakthroughs)
Some might say (the) war is a foolish investment.
We would love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!