What would you do for science with 100 billions dollars?

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Hi,

You are a scientific committee and you have 100 billions dollars to do the researches you want. The only requirement is that the researches must not have any hidden agenda and must benefit human knowledge as much as possible.

What would be the program would you suggest? Would you be OK to spent all this money in the International Space Station?

Thanks in advance for any opinion.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Pengwuino
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God no, the ISS isn't THAT important.

I'd invest all the money so that the dividends could produce constant amounts of funding forever :)
 
  • #3
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Research to find a cure for old age.
 
  • #4
f95toli
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I migtht be wrong here, but isn't 100 billion dollars roughly the amount of money the Federal government in the US spends on science every year (i.e. adding up all the money to NIH,DOE,NASA etc)?
My point being, it is a lot of money, but not as much as one might think (and it is only about 5 times the cost of building ITER) meaning I don't think spending that amount of money would automatically yield any amazing new results, it is probably what a manned mission to Mars would cost.
 
  • #5
Borek
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I migtht be wrong here, but isn't 100 billion dollars roughly the amount of money the Federal government in the US spends on science every year (i.e. adding up all the money to NIH,DOE,NASA etc)?
My point being, it is a lot of money, but not as much as one might think (and it is only about 5 times the cost of building ITER) meaning I don't think spending that amount of money would automatically yield any amazing new results, it is probably what a manned mission to Mars would cost.
There is a difference between spending 100 billions on everything and spending 100 billions on a specific problem.

Doesn't mean it would yield anything amazing, but definitely it could push us in some direction.
 
  • #6
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I'd strap a million rockets to the Earth facing the same direction and slow down the Earth's rotation.
 
  • #7
jim hardy
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Chromosome research to bio-engineer ethics into politicians and lawyers.
 
  • #8
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I would invest it in engineering a virus that would make stupid people sterile.
 
  • #9
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I'd throw it all at fusion. :approve: ITER, DEMO and PROTO can't go fast enough for me. It'll be 2038 (probably at best) before ITER gets finished! I'll be OLD then. :frown:

EDIT: I just saw it'll start doing D-T stuff in 2026, and the project *ends* in 2038. Still, that's, well, a freakin' long time.
 
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  • #10
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I rarely heard in science news that an important break through was achieved thanks to the ISS. On the other side, there are full of science projects who are searching desperately for funds: Asteriod alert, material research for solar panel, biology, etc.

Then I think of the $100 billions of the Space Station which could be used for la LOTS of other projects. Although I love cosmology, but think of the ISS as an very expensive toy.
 
  • #11
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I'd invest it all in a definitive study that measured just how inefficient it is to invest government money in science.
 
  • #12
Alternative energy sources.
 
  • #13
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An international effort to develop the first full fledged quantum computer. Unfortunately its one of those developments more likely to be done first by governments in secret when the knowledge gained could easily benefit all of mankind immeasurably. Like the atom bomb I'd rather the decision when to disseminate any knowledge gained were made by at least all the allies collectively rather it possibly becoming the source of some new arms race between superpowers.
 
  • #14
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I would start my own version of Nobel prize with the dividend I earn. That way I could make the smartest brains attracted to science, instead of becoming, say hedge fund managers.
 
  • #15
Pythagorean
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Yeah, I'd use it to fund STEM education in the US, starting early.
 
  • #16
A massive PR campaign to foment positive public opinion about scientists, until scientists became governors and presidents (instead of lawyers doing so), and then enjoy the public funding and science backed law making that follows.
 
  • #17
wukunlin
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If you are thinking about using all that money for science you would be unlikely to ever acquire that much money :P
 
  • #18
Hi,

You are a scientific committee and you have 100 billions dollars to do the researches you want. The only requirement is that the researches must not have any hidden agenda and must benefit human knowledge as much as possible.

What would be the program would you suggest? Would you be OK to spent all this money in the International Space Station?

Thanks in advance for any opinion.
I'm gonna say something naughty but I'm scared to death of fractions, so the serious answer: an AI laboratory.
 
  • #19
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I'd form the next Bell Labs.
 
  • #20
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I would fund a study of whether too much luxury ruins a person's life. For ethical reasons, I cannot ask anyone else to be a guinea pig for this research.
 
  • #21
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I would fund a study of whether too much luxury ruins a person's life. For ethical reasons, I cannot ask anyone else to be a guinea pig for this research.
Your personal sacrifice in the name of science will go down in history.
 
  • #22
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There is a difference between spending 100 billions on everything and spending 100 billions on a specific problem.

Doesn't mean it would yield anything amazing, but definitely it could push us in some direction.
OP did not specify the time range. I believe most problems have received more than 100 billion dollars over last century.
 
  • #23
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Hi,

You are a scientific committee and you have 100 billions dollars to do the researches you want. The only requirement is that the researches must not have any hidden agenda and must benefit human knowledge as much as possible.

What would be the program would you suggest? Would you be OK to spent all this money in the International Space Station?

Thanks in advance for any opinion.
100 billion dollars? Well, I'd try to ascertain the 10,000 most promising PHd scientists and give each of them 10 million dollars to pursue their pet projects ... with options for more money if they seem to on to something.

Or some variation on that.
 
  • #24
f95toli
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There is a difference between spending 100 billions on everything and spending 100 billions on a specific problem.

Doesn't mean it would yield anything amazing, but definitely it could push us in some direction.
I am note sure I agree. There already examples of research areas with "too much money, but not enough ideas" (e.g.weapons research, and some cancer research).
You quite quickly reach a point where spending more money on a subject becomes counter-productive; which is why so many "flagship" projects fail (e.g. the amount of money being spent on graphene in the UK at the moment, there is TOO much money around).
It is IMHO much better to spend money on many different projects in many different areas. This is more likely to yield good results.
 
  • #25
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I would definitely colonize the moon or mars.

edit:

I'd like to see a sustainable underwater city for example.

I'd also like fund the effort to maximimize nuclear fuel efficiency and a way to economically send all nuclear waste to the sun with enough safety that it could be a reality.

I'd also invest in recycling processes so that we can recycle things that remain unrecyclable now (either technically or by human motivation), and then find a similar way of sending all unrecyclable waste to the sun.
 
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