Cake
  • Log In
  • Sign Up
    • I love this video - it brings a tear to my eye and is so well spoken and explained.

      Should NASA have a Penny if every tax dollar?

    • I dunno. So few dollars and so much science to pursue. In his recent book, Accessory to War, deGrasse Tyson carefully documents the extent to which funding for the US space program was driven by military and geo-political concerns. The Hubble telescope, he pointed out, was mostly a standard spy satellite pointed away from the earth, not towards it. Now I'm fascinated by cosmology and just love reading about the all the discoveries. But I'm also fascinated by neuroscience, molecular biology, evolutionary science, artificial intelligence and a bunch of other fields, all of which are yielding impressive results and none of which have all the money they need. It's not easy to decide how to spend public money. Is the search for exo-planets in a Goldilocks zone more important than developing immunotherapies for cancer and other diseases? I tend to think not, but it's unclear to me the extent to which research funding has to be a zero-sum game.

    • I used to think not funding NASA was a horrible tragedy. Now I think the privatization of space was the best thing we could have done and something that should have been done way sooner. I think NASA should now focus on huge long term dreams and keep investing in long shots that just may work out.

    • Agreed. Low orbit transport is well-known technology and the private sector is doing a fine job of getting the job done while lowering the cost. NASA should be focused on longer term problems that push the boundaries of science while having no prospect for immediate return on investment. One area I'd like to see receive more attention is killer asteroid deflection. We believe we're safe for the near future, but the time scale of effective action is so long that to me it makes sense to start doing experiments now so that we develop confidence in our approach. Obviously, this cannot be a commercial venture, and should probably be an international collaboration between NASA and all the other world-class space agencies.

    • NASA should be sort of like a basic science/technology research company rather than an applied science/tech company. I'd like to see countries spend more of their GDP on basic research in all areas of science and technology but I know as a science/tech geek I'm quite biased. There is however strong evidence and history that supports the idea that science and technology investment drives economic success.

      NASA funding Darpa type long shots is good. I also like that NASA keeps reevaluating their priorities on a regular basis. I love their current focus on exoplanet/extrasolar research and the quest to find out if there is life out there.

    • Sad. All the companies that create and sell military equipment and services have continued to fuel increased expenditures as well as create and recreate enemies of the state. Until this is directly addressed there will be no significant change in how much of your GDP goes to military expenditures.

    • Their is Irony in that NASA was founded as part of the DOD- an ideal world is one of Peace, we must work towards this and use force in restrained manor-

    • Richard has a great point about other areas of science needing funding too. All I really know is that video with Neil deGrasse Tyson narrating, was really inspiring.

    You've been invited!