Over the last few weeks of the election season, there was a lot of talk about “spreading the wealth”, with the McCain/Palin campaign more than implying that this was a bad thing. While I agree that many government programs need serious overhauls, there is one use of tax dollars that should not be looked down upon. Spending on basic research benefits everyone.
The editors of Nature examined how spending on science is the best way to climb out of a recession and to set the stage for future growth in Danger and Opportunity. Science spending, in the form of international collaborations, may also be the best way to create better relationships between countries.
With an economic crisis of unknown proportions looming, more emphasis on science and innovation — not less — will be crucial to achieving a sustained recovery.
Let’s hope that the president elect is up to the task, able to convince Congress and the American people that science is worthy, not a waste.
Nature editors (2008). Danger and opportunity Nature, 456 (7219), 141-141 DOI: 10.1038/456141a