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16 minutes ago, saac said:

What would 10 billion do in the fight to eradicate say Malaria

Haven’t Bill and Melinda got that covered?

It seems strange that people assume that $10 billion has been poured down the drain rather than paying people’s salaries, creating/maintaining a skilled workforce and developing new technologies which will have further applications in future.

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1 hour ago, Stu said:

Haven’t Bill and Melinda got that covered?

It seems strange that people assume that $10 billion has been poured down the drain rather than paying people’s salaries, creating/maintaining a skilled workforce and developing new technologies which will have further applications in future.

Not sure how far they have got, but was watching a report the other day and it is such an evil disease, the poor always seem at greater risk. I can't help think that if the same intent that went into the polio effort was applied we could do it again.  Your'e right of course the 10 billion pays wages, supports households and families and generates taxes as well as would other endeavours too. 

 

Jim

Edited by saac
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Development started in 1996, and if the launch is really done in 2020 as hoped, the thing will have taken 24 years. 24 years to build one satellite costing the same as one million cars. I know Webb has many moving delicate parts that have to be tested before launch but that is nothing new. Every launch since Sputnik consists of a series of precise deployments of rocket and satellite parts.

Lots of satellites and probes have booms, solar panels, antennas and various organs and tools that deploy after launch, sometimes years after it. They work well for the most part, but none took 24 years and a ten-fold increase in budget to be completed. 24 years is the time elapsed between the first high-performance propeller planes and Sputnilk, with all the changes and innovations in technology. But here it's the time between Webb and Webb, such a letdown.

It's also the time it took to move from Sputnik to the space shuttle, but it's the time it's taking to go from the Webb telescope to itself. I find it appalling. After waiting too long for something I can't be happy it happens.

The entire Men on the Moon program took 8 years to complete, new rocket and spaceship included. Webb does not even include a new rocket design. Can't help but compare. 

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Got to be careful Ben much of that 24 years no metal would have been cut, time taken up on proposal, funding, approval etc, before you even get to design, design revision. In my previous life in the RAF it was not uncommon for the next generation aircraft to have a lead time from drawing board to flight of up to 20 years, the Typhoon being a case in point. The Apollo programme of course had an altogether different imperative pushing it along.

Jim

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Without details of funding and precise study of the "returns", it is almost impossible to
decide on the merits of (individual) science projects? That there may well be "wasted"
money is possible/probable. I try not to be "complacent" or "whistle blower" on that? ;)

Nary a day passes without some (many) wishing the science budget be diverted to a
more "worthy cause" (curing malaria, cancer etc.). And there's funding of "Wars" etc.

I ENVY anyone who has "The Solution"! Within limits, I do think that SCIENCE often
has a reasonable spend... Given the need of working / reliability. Scientists may (Or 
not!) earn $40,000(?) for a "40h week", but do (I did) a lot of "unofficial" overtime... :D

Not specifically re. JWT, but can we weigh in the value of *international collaboration*?
A past British Prime Minister visited CERN to *personally* decide the "merit" of the UK
contribution to the budget. My then BOSS remarked that SHE was "blown away" by the
way in which SCIENTISTS "unlike her cabinet" (sic!) worked collectively and in harmony!

But I find a lot of ignorance re. the *political* non-scientists & *opinionated* lay public.
How do we decide? The electorate has NO problem with such notions and more beside! 
But, knowing my country(wo/men), I sense the "UK Science Budget" is ALWAYS cut. :o
 

Edited by Macavity

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