[ExI] Against government science funding was Re: New Hope for Alzheimer's Disease Vaccine

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Tue Apr 8 14:46:18 UTC 2008

On Tue, Apr 8, 2008 at 9:35 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com>

> Most of the basic science breakthroughs which have ultimately given us
> the medical care we enjoy has been publicly funded, and elaborate
> bureaucratic hoops have had to be jumped through to obtain that
> funding. Moreover, although they need money for equipment, most of the
> scientists doing this research have not been pursuing personal profit
> (it's crazy to go into research if that's what you want), but the
> approval of their peers. The free market only has a role to play when
> someone catches wind of a marketable product.

### Do you know that 85% of all science funding in the US comes from private
money? I used to think that due to the difficulty in owning basic research
results there would be underproduction of such results in the absence of
coerced funding but now I no longer believe it. Many rich people seek the
approval of their peers too, which is why the Gates foundation is
outspending the NIH on many of the most pressing health needs in the world.
Rockefeller, Carnegie, Mellon, Hughes and dozens of lesser captains of
industry gave more to science than most governments. If there were no taxing
parasites feeding on capitalists, there would be so much money sloshing
around and looking for a good cause that even FAI researchers would be
swimming in it.

BTW, if we are talking about government funding of research, let's see what
it gave us: The atomic bomb. Thermonuclear bomb. Weaponized anthrax. Napalm.
V-gas. Tuskegee syphilis study. The International Space Station. The list is
long but easy to summarize: Most government research spending goes towards
destruction (weapons), or propaganda (ISS). Useful, peaceful basic research
is an afterthought, comprising less than one percent of all spending. You
can't reasonably speak about the great achievements of government research
without devoting appropriate attention to the monumental failings.

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