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(NPR)   Congress is dragging in scientists to explain why they took Obama's $5 billion dollars 3 years ago and then failed to discover fusion   (npr.org) divider line 21
    More: Stupid, nuclear fusions, congresses, obama, radioactive waste, National Nuclear Security Administration, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, nuclear fissions, nuclear reactions  
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4166 clicks; posted to Geek » on 29 Nov 2012 at 10:32 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-29 10:47:34 AM
14 votes:
Maybe the scientists should drag congress in to explain to us all why they fail at literally everything they're supposed to do.
2012-11-29 11:26:12 AM
4 votes:
And yet both the F22 and F35 program is 100s of billions over cost and no one is being dragged into congress.
2012-11-29 10:56:54 AM
4 votes:

xanadian: You can't rush scientific discovery. There's no time table for it.


That sort of depends why the project isn't working.

If they've set it up, and the energy delivery/temperature requirements have been met, but the outcome hasn't been achieved due to some other factor they haven't worked out yet, then that's just science, deal with it.

If they haven't achieved the energy delivery/temperature requirements with their equipment, then the failure is on the scientists, not in the "you just can't rush it" category.

TFA isn't entirely clear on what the point of failure is, so maybe this is a matter of congress misunderstanding science and maybe it isn't. Every scientific experiment has a layer of engineering under it and that can be pretty quantitatively judged. "We can't get the conditions right" is a statement that could go either way.

//Basically I'm objecting to the idea that science makes you magically immune to being judged. Probably because I do it for a living and I'm judged by the equivalent of supervisors and funders all the time.
2012-11-29 10:56:22 AM
3 votes:
This really isn't a scandal. Taxpayer-funded researchers have to justify their existence. When you're getting a government research grant, you give updates to your funding agency, and I'm not aware of any exceptions. This means saying what you've done with the money and what results you have (or haven't) seen. If you've got squat, you need to explain why you've got squat, how you plan to turn that around, and why you should get another heap of money to keep the research going.

Sorry, no matter how noble or promising the venture may be, at some point somebody has to say, "It's probably not worth dumping more money down this drain. Not at this time or with this group of scientists." Not saying that's the case here, but they shouldn't be excluded from the process just because we really want fusion reactors.
2012-11-29 10:43:20 AM
3 votes:

DoBeDoBeDo: Wait I'm pretty sure we've discovered fusion:


Mine's bigger.
upload.wikimedia.org
2012-11-29 09:53:51 AM
3 votes:
Tell congress it'll make a legendary weapon of immense capabilities that will forever shift the global balance of power and i'm sure they'll stumble over themselves to funnel more money than is needed to it
2012-11-29 11:22:50 AM
2 votes:

xanadian: You can't rush scientific discovery. There's no time table for it.


But it's at least ok to have someone spend a few hours giving a report that the money wasn't spent on hookers and blow, right? Even if the conclusion is that they have $5B worth of ways to *not* create fusion, you still kinda want to know that.
2012-11-29 10:35:26 AM
2 votes:
I definitely think fusion research is important, but with five billion dollars you could probably build a full-size liquid fluoride thorium reactor.
2012-11-29 06:41:05 PM
1 votes:
Hey, if Italy can arrest seismologists for not accurately predicting earthquakes, sure, why not, let's drag in scientists for not discovering cold fusion.

Heck, let's just terrify scientists into not pushing forward with anything. That way, the religious extremists can once again take control of humanity, casting us into a Second Dark Ages. It'll be fun.
2012-11-29 04:06:54 PM
1 votes:
If this was a Republican pet project, all they'd have to do is manage to say "we haven't gotten sufficient funding for the project to succeed" and they'd be off the hook.

=Smidge=
2012-11-29 02:24:18 PM
1 votes:
Given the members in congress who have oversight of publicly funded scientific research I expect the Bible to come into it at some point.
2012-11-29 01:20:10 PM
1 votes:
Wait... Congress wants scientists to explain sciency things to them WHEN THEY CAN'T EVEN FARKING UNDERSTAND THE INTERNET????

farkin' aye... I bet all this came down to some Tea-Party asshat writing an angry letter.
2012-11-29 01:06:37 PM
1 votes:

Dead for Tax Reasons: Tell congress it'll make a legendary weapon of immense capabilities that will forever shift the global balance of power and i'm sure they'll stumble over themselves to funnel more money than is needed to it


zs1.smbc-comics.com
2012-11-29 12:42:06 PM
1 votes:

OnlyM3: Explaining science to these guys:

[llwproductions.files.wordpress.com image 400x305]
Good luck with that.


Or the republican that did not understand how plate tectonics worked.
2012-11-29 12:34:17 PM
1 votes:

OnlyM3: Explaining science to these guys:

[llwproductions.files.wordpress.com image 400x305]
Good luck with that.


"You see, atoms are very, very small. Smaller even than Guam."
2012-11-29 12:06:40 PM
1 votes:
No risk no reward.

/I'd sooner want to speak to the builders of those stealth planes.
/the first one was experimental, but by the fifth you should have the process sorted out.
2012-11-29 11:52:11 AM
1 votes:
Tony Stark was able to build this in a cave! With a bunch of scraps!
2012-11-29 11:21:13 AM
1 votes:
As an American, I'm fine with my tax dollars being spent on this, and am fine with it being doubled even.

When do I get to talk to congress about the things I pay for, for them, that I'm not okay with?
2012-11-29 11:03:11 AM
1 votes:

Nurglitch: Summoner101: DoBeDoBeDo: Wait I'm pretty sure we've discovered fusion:

Isn't that fission?

Nuclear weapons, the 'hydrogen bomb', work by fusing hydrogen (by using a fission primer, as I understand it). Atomic weapons are fission weapons.


I believe "thermonuclear" is the term for fusion weapons -- "nuclear" is the general term for both. I forget if "atomic" just refers to fission weapons or is also a catch-all term.
2012-11-29 09:53:33 AM
1 votes:
You can't rush scientific discovery. There's no time table for it.
2012-11-29 09:32:05 AM
1 votes:
On one hand, it's sad that Congress doesn't know how science works.

On the other hand, we've got a rather obvious daily reminder that the theory is based on sound principles so it's starting to get ridiculous that no one's come up with a way to do it yet.
 
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