June 21st, 2012
04:28 PM ET

How government funding of science rewards U.S. taxpayers

From The Washington Post

By Fareed Zakaria

It’s hard to find any good economic news these days. Europe is teetering on the brink; emerging markets such as China, Brazil and India are slowing down; and the United States is in a slump.

There is one bright spot on the American landscape: technology, particularly biotechnology. The cost of sequencing a human genome is down to $1,000, and the process now takes two hours — a pace that is much faster than “Moore’s Law,” which says that computing power doubles while its costs drop by half every 18 months. This technology revolution is already transforming whole industries. It is a reminder that, as we confront difficulties across the economic landscape, the one area where the United States can still move from strength to strength is science and technology — if we make the right decisions.

Read the full column at The Washington Post

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Topics: Innovation • Science

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Matt A.

    You can't make a case for government funding of science unless you make a case for government's share of royalties or patent rights.

    Perhaps in another column.

    June 21, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Reply
    • blessedgeek

      A lot of technologies were developed during the world war, even well into the 60s by the US govt.

      If the US govt had followed your demands for royalties – the high tech industry in the US would not have had its explosive growth during the 70s and 80s. The problem with US unemployment, is the lack of retraining of US workers, or even the lack of motivation of US workers to retrain, for new technologies.

      Rather than royalties, the US govt should require private companies to fund retraining of workers.

      June 24, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  2. JAL

    We should start to understand the benefits of limiting technology use. A walk in the park is one of the best 3d HD experiences possible.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Reply
    • deep blue

      I agree, with a caveat. It is great to walk in the park, but if you come down from a bacterial infection you catch from a nearby jogger, it is great to have penicillin too.

      The information revolution in the 1990's produced an economic boom and drastically increased the efficiency of the American worker. Some of the recreational uses of modern technology are less fulfilling than alternatives. However, you could not have made your post without the technology developed by DARPA and the NSF that lead to the internet.

      June 22, 2012 at 7:37 am | Reply
      • Dinda

        I can see that very easily (and this is cnmoig from a teenager's mouth) Since alot of these new model cars come with OnStar, which has GPS to begin with, then your hands are tied. But if it's an older model or one that doesn't have GPS, then go ahead and get the tracking device. If your kids throw a fit about it, then just tell them that it's either that or no car, or just don't tell them about it (all though, that can be an uncomfortable situation when you do find something wrong and confront them)As a helper, when you do tell your kids that you're getting the GPS, don't make the mistakes a bunch of other parents make. Don't make it sound accusing, like you think some thing is gonna happen. Talk to them like they are an adult, your equal so to speak, and explain that you want the GPS as a JUST IN CASE that something might happen. When you treat your teen with respect and allow them to feel like an adult, they will typically act like an adult and be more accepting of the situation.

        July 10, 2012 at 2:33 am |
  3. 100 % ETHIO

    Science vs Nature

    We were being told repeatedly, there is a place where humans could live, outside the Earth hemisphere. But, the results are wasting Money for Space divers, to enjoy themselves.

    Medically, we never find something to cure the severe diseases.
    Always, Nature wins.

    However, we created for the total destruction of the Planet Earth and its habitats. Which is WMD-Nuclear Bomb.

    Now, the Earth is under Gun points by Human made WMD and by Nature created Hurricane, lightning and other Natural Disasters (ND).

    Science? Ok, it helps, but doesn't have longevity or cure.
    Look at the food we eat. The seeds are artificially and Chemically produced by MONSANTO, GMO. The result,....

    June 22, 2012 at 2:35 am | Reply
  4. 100 % ETHIO

    Nature = 99%
    Science = 1%

    Nature is too strong!

    Science can't replaced Nature, but it can reflect.
    •By using Nature's Sunlight, Science can produce energy;

    •By using Nature's Water, Science can produce Hydropower and Clean Water,....

    June 22, 2012 at 2:53 am | Reply
    • Name (required)

      Gene Ray, creator of TimeCube, is that you?

      June 22, 2012 at 3:53 am | Reply
  5. Razzle Dazzle


    Slowing down....from what???? Let's look at the case of India...as an example. [ 0+0=0 ] !!!!

    INDIA:::: Some Alarming Statistics: (Source: UNDP)

    • 1/3rd world’s poor is in India. It also has a higher proportion of its population living on less than $ 2 per day than even sub-Saharan Africa.
    • 828 million people or 75.6% of the Indian population is living below $2 a day. 42% of the population is living below the new international poverty line.
    • 33% of the global poor are Indians. Sub-Saharan Africa considered the world’s poorest region is better than India.
    • 41.8% of the rural population survive with monthly per capita consumption expenditure of Rs447 ($7)on essential necessities like food, fuel, light and clothing

    Any further slowing down would be obliteration.

    June 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Reply
  6. j. von hettlingen

    Fareed wrote: "Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the dynamic founder of one of India’s powerhouse pharmaceutical companies, Biocon, argues that the entire American-style set of regulations, clinical trials and lengthy waiting periods are now a serious deterrent to innovation in drugs and pharmaceuticals more generally. “It takes 12 years to get a drug from conception to market,” she says, “while it took six years to get the Airbus A380 from the drawing board to flying in the skies.” Shaw failed to see the difference between pharmaceuticals and engineering products. It takes years to test and find out whether a drug product is of benefit to human beings or not!

    June 26, 2012 at 3:32 am | Reply
  7. Hollenz Yedidd

    Thanks for the strategies you have shared here. On top of that, I believe there are some factors which really keep your car insurance policy premium decrease. One is, to take into account buying automobiles that are inside good list of car insurance organizations. Cars which might be expensive are more at risk of being stolen. Aside from that insurance is also in line with the value of your automobile, so the costlier it is, then the higher this premium you pay.

    July 5, 2012 at 7:43 am | Reply
  8. Manish

    Yep GPS transmitters can eailsy be attached to cars. If he has a paid subscription to a tracking company then her car, if bugged, will show up on a map.He could have a remote camera near or even inside her house.Still, if he was doing it using hi tech then i don't think he would reveal his methods. However, if he was using only low tech methods then he might try and make out that he's using pro technologies to scare/ intimidate her further. Think about it from a psychological angle.

    July 13, 2012 at 2:03 am | Reply

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