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(Scientific American)   There goes the science   (blogs.scientificamerican.com) divider line 108
    More: Asinine, private foundations, state list, debt service coverage ratio, inflection points, Human Genome Project, research university  
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8665 clicks; posted to Politics » on 28 Feb 2013 at 6:37 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-28 05:54:05 PM
And that's what you get for coming back with results that don't match our world view.  Worthless leeches.

What has science ever done for us anyway?
 
2013-02-28 06:13:28 PM
So, fewer bullsh*t "Studies show..." headlines and reports?

i'mokaywiththat.jpg
 
2013-02-28 06:33:47 PM
I heard that they are going to start with firing all the "global warming" "scientists".


HAHAHH HAHAHAHA
/sigh - we're so screwed.
 
2013-02-28 06:40:46 PM
Well, what has science ever done for ME?
 
2013-02-28 06:42:08 PM
Yes basic science that creates breakthroughs 10-15 years down the line will be cut and no one will notice for 10-15 years when all of a sudden everyone but us has cool new shiat and Apple is designed in Guangzhou and Americans have to barter natural resources for tech with the other western nations like we're Nigeria or Mexico or something... Yes go ahead and cut it...

/The future to a politician: "F#%k it! It's someone else's problem"
 
2013-02-28 06:47:57 PM

Endrick: And that's what you get for coming back with results that don't match our world view.  Worthless leeches.

What has science ever done for us anyway?


cdn.honeyforacne.in qph.is.quoracdn.net cdn3.vtourist.com  www.webwombat.com.au www.alslib.com.au
 
2013-02-28 06:49:52 PM
I'm somewhat involved with the research enterprise, and there are a few people around here that are, to put  it lightly, shiatting bricks.

We just spent about $15K in the last three days because one of our funding sources is pretty likely to get axed if the sequester comes about. It's money that we would have been ineligible for in a few months anyway, and it'll still go to good use, but we could have probably spent it a little more wisely if we didn't feel like we had to blow through it.
 
2013-02-28 06:55:17 PM
So, the Ric Romero Institute of the Obvious is losing its funding for the study of the blatantly obvious?
 
2013-02-28 06:57:03 PM

Richard Saunders: So, fewer bullsh*t "Studies show..." headlines and reports?

i'mokaywiththat.jpg


You know, we're not actually laughing with you.
 
2013-02-28 06:57:06 PM

Richard Saunders: So, fewer bullsh*t "Studies show..." headlines and reports?

i'mokaywiththat.jpg


Because media isn't the problem, of course.
 
2013-02-28 06:59:05 PM
Anyone care to guess who made the sequestration law of the land?  Couldn't we just keep on current budget with promises to do better in the future?
 
2013-02-28 07:03:18 PM

Endrick: What has science ever done for us anyway?


i.imgur.com
 
2013-02-28 07:03:32 PM
What they don't tell you is that a majority of spending on science is also military spending. Yet whenever people say we spend too much on the military, they conveniently forget how much pure science is done in the name of DoD/Intel.

Yes we have a lot of guns, and ultimately you need weapons to defend a nation. Perhaps we can cut back on the number of stockpiled weapons. However the one area that you can't cut back on is the research that makes your radar/detection/photography capabilities better than your adversary. It doesn't matter how many guns you have if yours only shoot feathers and your adversary shoots something far more effective. The DoD research spending is what keeps us ahead of those who would do us harm.

Furthermore, a lot of that research, the stuff that DOESN'T specifically lead to anything classified, usually gets directly dumped into the public domain, so it helps industry. A large amount of DoD research spending is on general pure research. With my advisor in my physics department we were researching superconductor thin films, there were absolutely no restrictions on our publishing. It was completely unclassified. All the funding for that came from the Air Force.

Yes, fine, make the argument if you must that the U.S. must cut defense spending. But be under no illusions, a cut of defense spending means a gigantic cut on pure research spending in this country.
 
2013-02-28 07:04:13 PM
Research funding always suffers under a Democratic POTUS.

Few things are more predictable in this country than the GOP spending and cutting taxes like mad while in power, then choking off funding and crying DEFICIT!!! when the DEMS are in power.
 
2013-02-28 07:04:23 PM
Welcome to your third world plutocracy, America.
 
2013-02-28 07:07:30 PM
As someone about a year or two from getting his PhD in Physics, I'm seriously, seriously worried. =/. I've got a few things going for me: I'm getting it in a rapidly growing and industrially useful field (Nanophysics/nanotech), but I'm still seriously worried about my ability to pay of my student loan debt and start a family if the sequester goes through. I was told America needed STEM scholars. Needed more people focused on the sciences. And, hell, I enjoy physics.

But now it feels like I'm gonna be totally farked, and I don't know what to do. I guess I should start looking at post docs in other countries, once I get closer to finishing....
 
2013-02-28 07:09:11 PM

Big Man On Campus: What they don't tell you is that a majority of spending on science is also military spending. Yet whenever people say we spend too much on the military, they conveniently forget how much pure science is done in the name of DoD/Intel.

Yes we have a lot of guns, and ultimately you need weapons to defend a nation. Perhaps we can cut back on the number of stockpiled weapons. However the one area that you can't cut back on is the research that makes your radar/detection/photography capabilities better than your adversary. It doesn't matter how many guns you have if yours only shoot feathers and your adversary shoots something far more effective. The DoD research spending is what keeps us ahead of those who would do us harm.

Furthermore, a lot of that research, the stuff that DOESN'T specifically lead to anything classified, usually gets directly dumped into the public domain, so it helps industry. A large amount of DoD research spending is on general pure research. With my advisor in my physics department we were researching superconductor thin films, there were absolutely no restrictions on our publishing. It was completely unclassified. All the funding for that came from the Air Force.

Yes, fine, make the argument if you must that the U.S. must cut defense spending. But be under no illusions, a cut of defense spending means a gigantic cut on pure research spending in this country.

i48.tinypic.com
 
2013-02-28 07:10:35 PM

Felgraf: As someone about a year or two from getting his PhD in Physics, I'm seriously, seriously worried. =/. I've got a few things going for me: I'm getting it in a rapidly growing and industrially useful field (Nanophysics/nanotech), but I'm still seriously worried about my ability to pay of my student loan debt and start a family if the sequester goes through. I was told America needed STEM scholars. Needed more people focused on the sciences. And, hell, I enjoy physics.

But now it feels like I'm gonna be totally farked, and I don't know what to do. I guess I should start looking at post docs in other countries, once I get closer to finishing....


Actually, there are so many people retiring, you will likely be *OK* if you go into industry (certainly better than if you only had a bachelors engineering degree from devry). My company currently has so many old rocket engineers retiring, that we're essentially fine. If you want to be a professor, well, finding research funding might be a problem.
 
2013-02-28 07:10:47 PM
i.imgur.com
 
2013-02-28 07:14:31 PM

fusillade762: a picture


Do you have an argument other than Boeing and other DoD contractors bilk the government? This was known already.

If your argument is that DoD contractors do crappy work while promising the universe, your argument is solid.

If your argument is that DoD cuts won't also severely impact programs that are doing you good for pennies, your argument is completely invalid.
 
2013-02-28 07:16:26 PM

Endrick: And that's what you get for coming back with results that don't match our world view.  Worthless leeches.

What has science ever done for us anyway?


I searched the Internet on my phone, but I couldn't find an answer.
 
2013-02-28 07:17:23 PM

Felgraf: As someone about a year or two from getting his PhD in Physics, I'm seriously, seriously worried. =/. I've got a few things going for me: I'm getting it in a rapidly growing and industrially useful field (Nanophysics/nanotech), but I'm still seriously worried about my ability to pay of my student loan debt and start a family if the sequester goes through. I was told America needed STEM scholars. Needed more people focused on the sciences. And, hell, I enjoy physics.

But now it feels like I'm gonna be totally farked, and I don't know what to do. I guess I should start looking at post docs in other countries, once I get closer to finishing....


Yeah, you're screwed. If it's any solace, we all are. Here's some light reading on the subject of how screwed you are:
http://boingboing.net/2013/02/28/how-will-the-sequester-affect.html
 
2013-02-28 07:18:25 PM
I'm defending my dissertation in two months. One month later, I'm leaving the country for a postdoc in New Zealand. If the choice is between sit here and wait and hope for a grant to be funded for a postdoc or go for a guaranteed position in NZ with a national health service, a union contract, double the salary and guaranteed raises, then I'm out of here.
 
2013-02-28 07:20:06 PM

Felgraf: As someone about a year or two from getting his PhD in Physics, I'm seriously, seriously worried. =/. I've got a few things going for me: I'm getting it in a rapidly growing and industrially useful field (Nanophysics/nanotech), but I'm still seriously worried about my ability to pay of my student loan debt and start a family if the sequester goes through. I was told America needed STEM scholars. Needed more people focused on the sciences. And, hell, I enjoy physics.

But now it feels like I'm gonna be totally farked, and I don't know what to do. I guess I should start looking at post docs in other countries, once I get closer to finishing....


General rule of thumb: Engineers make tons of money off the backs of scientists.  The problem is that:

1) Pure research isn't actually terribly useful.  The fact that you and a whole bunch of others spent millions/billions discovering cool thing with XYZ properties is cool, but not useful.  It's when the engineers take your cool thing and push it to the end user that it becomes useful.    Without you, the engineer doesn't work, but without the engineer, you don't get money.  There's a necessary synergy there.
2) Corporations stopped funding pure research (as part of that whole MBA short-term gain, long-term loss thing).
3) People heard "Go into STEM", forgetting that in terms of money, it's actually sTEM.   So there's too many scientists, not enough places for them to go, and for various reasons, it's hard to switch from S to T, E, or M.

So if at all possible, switch over to Engineering.  You'll make more money in the long run.

/Or go into programming.  Midwest is paying $45-60K to start out, and the coasts are paying $70K-90K + stock.
 
2013-02-28 07:26:26 PM
Hey.  You voted for him.
 
2013-02-28 07:33:38 PM
i224.photobucket.com
 
2013-02-28 07:34:45 PM

LockeOak: I'm defending my dissertation in two months. One month later, I'm leaving the country for a postdoc in New Zealand. If the choice is between sit here and wait and hope for a grant to be funded for a postdoc or go for a guaranteed position in NZ with a national health service, a union contract, double the salary and guaranteed raises, then I'm out of here.


Yeah your post in another thread is why I'm going to be looking at opportunities abroad when it comes time for me to finish up.

meyerkev: So if at all possible, switch over to Engineering. You'll make more money in the long run.


Yeaaaah, one or two years away from my PhD is kinda too late to be doing that.

I do think I'm gonna start teaching myself how to code, it's just.. hard to figure out where to start. Though I think I've found somehelpful tools.

/Although the research I do is this weird combo of engineering and physics and chemistry and biology anyways. Wheee, nanotech, where everything sort of rams together.
 
2013-02-28 07:35:25 PM

GilRuiz1: [i224.photobucket.com image 360x315]


I'm not sure what your post or picture is supposed to suggest.

ARe you pulling the reverse of that picture you oh-so-often post?
 
2013-02-28 07:37:08 PM

Big Man On Campus: fusillade762: a picture

Do you have an argument other than Boeing and other DoD contractors bilk the government? This was known already.

If your argument is that DoD contractors do crappy work while promising the universe, your argument is solid.

If your argument is that DoD cuts won't also severely impact programs that are doing you good for pennies, your argument is completely invalid.


Let's try that "info"graphic again, but this time with the human genome project vs. ARPAnet.
 
2013-02-28 07:37:16 PM
Our glorious leaders have decided that science is pretty dumb and we don't need it anymore. Same with "facts". And book-larnin'.
 
2013-02-28 07:39:39 PM

Big Man On Campus: fusillade762: a picture

Do you have an argument other than Boeing and other DoD contractors bilk the government? This was known already.

If your argument is that DoD contractors do crappy work while promising the universe, your argument is solid.

If your argument is that DoD cuts won't also severely impact programs that are doing you good for pennies, your argument is completely invalid.

No extra words were needed.
Here, try again.

i48.tinypic.com
 
2013-02-28 07:39:53 PM

TopoGigo: Big Man On Campus: fusillade762: a picture

Do you have an argument other than Boeing and other DoD contractors bilk the government? This was known already.

If your argument is that DoD contractors do crappy work while promising the universe, your argument is solid.

If your argument is that DoD cuts won't also severely impact programs that are doing you good for pennies, your argument is completely invalid.

Let's try that "info"graphic again, but this time with the human genome project vs. ARPAnet.


How about ARPAnet vs. some more useless weapons again?

Somehow people keep looking at that and coming up with something other than "we should invest money wisely instead of buying useless military toys".
 
2013-02-28 07:43:04 PM

Felgraf: LockeOak: I'm defending my dissertation in two months. One month later, I'm leaving the country for a postdoc in New Zealand. If the choice is between sit here and wait and hope for a grant to be funded for a postdoc or go for a guaranteed position in NZ with a national health service, a union contract, double the salary and guaranteed raises, then I'm out of here.

Yeah your post in another thread is why I'm going to be looking at opportunities abroad when it comes time for me to finish up.

meyerkev: So if at all possible, switch over to Engineering. You'll make more money in the long run.

Yeaaaah, one or two years away from my PhD is kinda too late to be doing that.

I do think I'm gonna start teaching myself how to code, it's just.. hard to figure out where to start. Though I think I've found somehelpful tools.

/Although the research I do is this weird combo of engineering and physics and chemistry and biology anyways. Wheee, nanotech, where everything sort of rams together.


Finish your phd and get a postdoc in an applied field, in industry or engineering. You'll still do lots of science, but with money. Start looking and contacting now.
 
2013-02-28 07:50:28 PM

Felgraf: GilRuiz1: [i224.photobucket.com image 360x315]

I'm not sure what your post or picture is supposed to suggest.

ARe you pulling the reverse of that picture you oh-so-often post?



That oft-posted picture shows off-topic derailing on a tangent no one brought up.  The reverse would be to stay on-topic, so I suppose yes.

I just think it's funny to remember what was predicted for when we tossed that ol' science-hating Chimp-In-Chief and put in a real intellectual who knew how to value science; boy things were going to change then!
i224.photobucket.com
 
2013-02-28 07:53:40 PM
What a bunch of sanctamonious BS.
 
2013-02-28 07:54:52 PM

A Dark Evil Omen: TopoGigo: Big Man On Campus: fusillade762: a picture

Do you have an argument other than Boeing and other DoD contractors bilk the government? This was known already.

If your argument is that DoD contractors do crappy work while promising the universe, your argument is solid.

If your argument is that DoD cuts won't also severely impact programs that are doing you good for pennies, your argument is completely invalid.

Let's try that "info"graphic again, but this time with the human genome project vs. ARPAnet.

How about ARPAnet vs. some more useless weapons again?

Somehow people keep looking at that and coming up with something other than "we should invest money wisely instead of buying useless military toys".


Um, I hate to break it to you, but ARPAnet was a "useless military toy". The only lesson to be learned from that infographic is that that specific project is a huge handjob to the contractor, and we should really stop doing that. The fact is that new military technology translates to a tremendous boost in civilian technology. It's not basic science--which we need to invest in as well--but it's a net positive. The military is one of the few institutions, maybe the only one, willing to invest in decades-long projects. Not all of them pay off, and many of them are thinly-veiled embezzlement, but the ones that pay off pay off bigtime.
 
2013-02-28 08:09:04 PM

GilRuiz1: Felgraf: GilRuiz1: [i224.photobucket.com image 360x315]

I'm not sure what your post or picture is supposed to suggest.

ARe you pulling the reverse of that picture you oh-so-often post?


That oft-posted picture shows off-topic derailing on a tangent no one brought up.  The reverse would be to stay on-topic, so I suppose yes.

I just think it's funny to remember what was predicted for when we tossed that ol' science-hating Chimp-In-Chief and put in a real intellectual who knew how to value science; boy things were going to change then!
[i224.photobucket.com image 500x321]


So, in other words, what we have is "Oh no, science funding is getting cut!"  "But I like science" "I HATE OBAMA!" "Damnit bob..."

DO NOT WANT Poster Girl: Finish your phd and get a postdoc in an applied field, in industry or engineering. You'll still do lots of science, but with money. Start looking and contacting now.


The good news is my field *IS* an applied field, more or less. Yay nanocrap. But yeah, I've got several places to contact and look into, I guess I'm just.. eh. Nervous as heck. At least I've got a bit longer in the protective cocoon.
 
2013-02-28 08:10:54 PM

clowncar on fire: Anyone care to guess who made the sequestration law of the land?  Couldn't we just keep on current budget with promises to do better in the future?


no
 
2013-02-28 08:18:30 PM

Felgraf: The good news is my field *IS* an applied field, more or less. Yay nanocrap. But yeah, I've got several places to contact and look into, I guess I'm just.. eh. Nervous as heck. At least I've got a bit longer in the protective cocoon.


Seriously, you'll be fine.  Contractors will get squeezed out -- you belong directly in a fed lab anyway, so you won't have any trouble.  There's a  lot of fat for these places to trim; they're just honoring the old public position tradition of saying the cuts will get rid of the stuff everyone wants so that they won't happen.  There's still plenty of lab and tech, and you can bet your quals that DoD and DoE both are watching nanotech very, very closely.  If you're a natural US citizen you might have an offer before you graduate, but I'd seriously suggest doing an internship at one of the big labs (Sandia, Los Alamos, Argonne, etc. -- not sure who does nano).
 
2013-02-28 08:35:29 PM
Good luck Felgraf

:3
 
2013-02-28 08:43:37 PM

Dokushin: Felgraf: The good news is my field *IS* an applied field, more or less. Yay nanocrap. But yeah, I've got several places to contact and look into, I guess I'm just.. eh. Nervous as heck. At least I've got a bit longer in the protective cocoon.

Seriously, you'll be fine.  Contractors will get squeezed out -- you belong directly in a fed lab anyway, so you won't have any trouble.  There's a  lot of fat for these places to trim; they're just honoring the old public position tradition of saying the cuts will get rid of the stuff everyone wants so that they won't happen.  There's still plenty of lab and tech, and you can bet your quals that DoD and DoE both are watching nanotech very, very closely.  If you're a natural US citizen you might have an offer before you graduate, but I'd seriously suggest doing an internship at one of the big labs (Sandia, Los Alamos, Argonne, etc. -- not sure who does nano).


Thanks, and fair enough. Weirdly, there are a few *local* companies that work with nanotech too, and I'll give them a look. You have a good point-this field is going to keep seeing a lot of interest.

Kittypie070: Good luck Felgraf

:3


Thanks!
 
2013-02-28 08:44:11 PM
I have a proposal in at NSF that is waiting on this sequester, so I'm not getting a kick...

So if at all possible, switch over to Engineering. You'll make more money in the long run.

Yeaaaah, one or two years away from my PhD is kinda too late to be doing that.
I do think I'm gonna start teaching myself how to code, it's just.. hard to figure out where to start. Though I think I've found somehelpful tools.



PhD 2004 Space physics - working in Data Management (designing and building databases) now because there aren't any physics jobs. I'm about 1/3 the way through a software engineering masters. Defiantly pick some aspect of IT that works with your nanotech studies and bone up on it. The skills that are supporting me now were ones I picked up incidentally on my way the the PhD. (I used databases to store sort, and perform calculations on my data.)
 
2013-02-28 08:47:00 PM

NotARocketScientist: store sort


is that less fast than the bubble sort?
 
2013-02-28 08:58:50 PM
Much of the scientific funding in the US doesn't go to US citizens.
 

So science will continue to chug along in America, because they're not that dependent on US universities to produce scientific geniuses and innovation in the first place. Just another blow to a relatively bad education system.

/ib4 jerbs
 
2013-02-28 09:00:44 PM
Felgraf:meyerkev: So if at all possible, switch over to Engineering. You'll make more money in the long run.

Yeaaaah, one or two years away from my PhD is kinda too late to be doing that.

I do think I'm gonna start teaching myself how to code, it's just.. hard to figure out where to start. Though I think I've found somehelpful tools.

/Although the research I do is this weird combo of engineering and physics and chemistry and biology anyways. Wheee, nanotech, where everything sort of rams together.


1) Determine if you have the aptitude for programming.
http://www.eis.mdx.ac.uk/research/PhDArea/saeed/
Separating non-programming sheep from programming goats

If you don't, quit now.

2) Read books.  Not webpages, books.  Books tend to give you a complete overview of all the language features in one spot, and webpages tend to go into detail about a single subject.  This means that you can miss major language features (I've been working with Python for about 3 months now, and I learned about decorators and generators yesterday), and happily reinvent the wheel, or never know that the wheel existed in the first place.

3) Pick a language.  Learn EVERYTHING that the language can do.  Things like if, else-if, else, for, while, classes, methods, etc. are fairly universal.  When you switch languages, take the concepts.

4) Start writing.  Figure out what you want to do and do it.  Start small, get big.  If you're writing on your own time, try to do crazy stuff.  (Do crazy stuff with operator precedence, reinvent large data structures, figure out exactly why templating was awesome, use virtual/multiple/diamond inheritance).  Go screw around in some other languages (Switching from a C-family language to a scripting language is really hard the first time), and figure out why various languages are good or bad at doing [thing].

5) If you want to make bank, do cool things, and don't mind working lots of hours (and want to work in a good codebase that isn't written by idiots), become one of the 20%.  Go archive-dive coding blogs (Finding Joel on Software was a fairly big turning point in my professional development), figure out why TheDailyWTF's are actually WTF's, learn to actually write code.

Now you're a developer, and if you're fairly good at this point, and have some projects for a resume, you'll get hired (Hint: The startups don't care about degrees, they care about what you can do).

/I wrote another wall of text on this subject in another thread somewhere a few months back that goes more into detail over Steps 3 and 4 including a book list.
 
2013-02-28 09:00:59 PM
The debt is 16 trillion dollars. When do we finally start trying to get it under control?
 
2013-02-28 09:03:42 PM
It's ok. Just another completely avoidable self-inflicted wound on our society. Par for the course, really.
 
2013-02-28 09:05:49 PM

meyerkev: Felgraf:meyerkev: So if at all possible, switch over to Engineering. You'll make more money in the long run.

Yeaaaah, one or two years away from my PhD is kinda too late to be doing that.

I do think I'm gonna start teaching myself how to code, it's just.. hard to figure out where to start. Though I think I've found somehelpful tools.

/Although the research I do is this weird combo of engineering and physics and chemistry and biology anyways. Wheee, nanotech, where everything sort of rams together.

1) Determine if you have the aptitude for programming.
http://www.eis.mdx.ac.uk/research/PhDArea/saeed/
Separating non-programming sheep from programming goats

If you don't, quit now.

2) Read books.  Not webpages, books.  Books tend to give you a complete overview of all the language features in one spot, and webpages tend to go into detail about a single subject.  This means that you can miss major language features (I've been working with Python for about 3 months now, and I learned about decorators and generators yesterday), and happily reinvent the wheel, or never know that the wheel existed in the first place.

3) Pick a language.  Learn EVERYTHING that the language can do.  Things like if, else-if, else, for, while, classes, methods, etc. are fairly universal.  When you switch languages, take the concepts.

4) Start writing.  Figure out what you want to do and do it.  Start small, get big.  If you're writing on your own time, try to do crazy stuff.  (Do crazy stuff with operator precedence, reinvent large data structures, figure out exactly why templating was awesome, use virtual/multiple/diamond inheritance).  Go screw around in some other languages (Switching from a C-family language to a scripting language is really hard the first time), and figure out why various languages are good or bad at doing [thing].

5) If you want to make bank, do cool things, and don't mind working lots of hours (and want to work in a good codebase that isn't written by idiots), be ...


I want to bang you right now. Thank you for this.
 
2013-02-28 09:11:49 PM
And don't forget about the shrimp running on the treadmills.
 
2013-02-28 09:12:18 PM

GilRuiz1: I just think it's funny to remember what was predicted for when we tossed that ol' science-hating Chimp-In-Chief and put in a real intellectual who knew how to value science; boy things were going to change then!


You conservatives really love the "HAR HAR WE STOPPED SOMETHING GOOD FROM HAPPENING WHAT NOW OBONGO LOVER" style arguments.

/"bbb bb but I'm not a conservative!  I'm an  independent!"  in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...
 
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