Econ: Budget cuts and expensive laboratory science projections for 10s

by eehiram
Tags: budget, cuts, econ, expensive, laboratory, projections, science
eehiram is offline
Oct21-13, 06:07 AM
P: 100
(I am going to attempt a 2nd, little thread before I finish my earlier thread. I want to see if I can practice using PF Rules & Guidelines and FAQ before I wrap up my thread on Autism in Medical Sciences.)

In my humble opinion, the current budget crisis in the news likely augurs deep cuts - sooner or later - for almost all of the public sector. To simplify, allow us to suppose that all the developed nations' government budgets are cut more or less evenly to generate small, steady surpluses (for repayment of longstanding debts). (The accumulated debts of developed nations are allegedly traceable to vaguely identified creditors, and based on the strength of skyrocketing private wealth and other estimates.)

Laboratory science (research and application) is very expensive in stark contrast to mainly-textbook education and theoretical science. Without belaboring the need for laboratory science (of course verification is necessary, and intertwined with theoretical science and education, and etcetera), the non-scientist government officials in developed nations might face the prospect of making tough, drastic decisions about how to allocate... eventually... less than 10% of the funding that they had to work with before, during the fatter years of massive deficit spending. Only this will allow the possibility of small, steady government budget surpluses overall.

(Even if different science budgets are proposed than <10% of a priori budgets, that will be fine for my thread.)

For my example of costs and benefits, I will use the Large Hadron Collider, completed and powered on in 2008:

Consider the cost of Large Hadron Collider: about $9-10 billion in U.S.A. c.2008 dollars.
See: and download lightweight 66 page The LHC Guide PDF. Or proceed directly to:

Consider the benefits of Large Hadron Collider: (recently in the news again) in July 2012, Higgs boson was found, thus earning the 2013 Nobel prizes for François Englert and Peter Higgs. See:
See also Nobel Laureate Leon Lederman's recent book, co-written with Christopher Hill, Beyond the God Particle:

With so much data being accumulated by particle accelerators, there used to be a lag time of catching up on processing data already accumulated. It required merely low-power Moore's Law computation, in the case of particle accelerators. I gleaned this from a documentary on Fermilab:
(I do not know if it is still true, due to the differential between the data accumulation and processor speed in regards to Moore's Law by 2013.)

My point is: Will more expensive projects be worth the funding, in light of above-elaborated budget cuts? Won't it make sense to switch to textbooks in the main, such as education and theoretical science? Wouldn't dissemination of established scientific knowledge (textbook education), theoretical science, and catching up on processing data already accumulated (in the case of particle accelerators at least) be worthwhile goals to replace additional laboratory research -- in the meantime, while the budget surpluses of developed nations bring the outstanding debts far, far down?

I am not insensitive to the frustration and perhaps bitter distaste for this type of idea. Yet in economics, such realities have to be addressed every year, as bills need to be paid and interest accumulates on loans / debts. I'm open minded and interested in reading feedback.
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