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Science Policy

Chris Mooney on Obama's Science Policy


 

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Chris Mooney got it backwards. Scientific innovations is not a key driver in economic growth. If in doubt think USSR. Economic growth is a key driver of Scientific innovation.

Not so much GOP war on science as it was a Bush administration war on science, leading his good little soldiers down the slippery slope.

If in doubt think USSR. Economic growth is a key driver of Scientific innovation.

yes and no...depends on what role science plays.

gypsy sister it is not yes and no if you take long sections of time under consideration. Just like the stock market shows a general upward trend over the decades, science in general will progress forward, where economies are strong. There are two simple reasons for that. One is the most obvious one that scientific research requires real resources which can only be sustainably provided in a strong economy. The other is that scientific advancements help businesses stay on edge of its competition and this creates a positive feedback loop. And since it is impossible to tell with high certainty which innovation in which field will provide the next competitive edge, it is always a good idea to support science in general.

Take USSR for instance. They started out strong in science and technology, but they started lagging eventually to a complete halt. Eventually the resources that went into funding their scientific ventures dried up. So we know science did not drive their economic growth at all. In fact their expensive space and defense budgets and the resources devoted towards that must have played an important role in destroying the Soviet economy.

In Science, US is the world leader and also the world's largest economy. Japan has the second largest economy and is also a world leader in S&T. Unless of course you consider the whole EU as one country, then it takes the second place to US in both economy and science.

Also look at the emerging economies of India and China. Both have huge defense budgets and a space program relative to GDP. None of which would have been possible had those economies not been growing the way they are right now.

No matter how you look at things, it eventually turns out that capitalism is the true saviour of science.

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