The Many Contributions of Government Funded Reasearch

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NASA sent us to the moon.

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Smoke detectors are widely used and important to everyday life. Research done by NASA made these little machines possible.

That isn’t nearly the end of their exploration either. Using funding from the government, we have sent technology to Mars, we have many satellites that we use to study the universe from of scientists at NASA. It isn’t only the space related inventions we owe to NASA research, but things that we use everyday. As stated on NASA’s website, things used by you and me were created by federal funding. Computer Microchips, LEDs, cordless tools,grooves on highway shoulders, smoke detectors, flame resistant cloth, long distance telecommunication, insulation, and the list goes on, owes their creation to research done by NASA teams. Without the money given to NASA, these everyday things wouldn’t be here. Some of these inventions are critical in most of our lives(Turner). These and space exploration are the product of less than $20 billion a year. Imagine the possibilities if more money was given to programs such as NASA.

The Critics

There’s no doubt that humanity relies on science. The money that has been given to our science fund has been well spent. With a larger budget from the government, science could expand everything we know. Most of our recent scientific breakthroughs were privately funded.(Aushotosh) That is why it’s popular belief that government funded science bares little fruit. In fact, there is a Forbes article that I found very interesting. Tim Worstall, contributor to Forbes, wrote that, “government paid for research leads to pretty much nothing very useful”(Worstall). I’m confident in saying that there are many amazing scientific achievements that have came from federally funded research.

What we should be doing:

Great Infographic comparing military spending numbers and progressive investments. Source
Info graphic comparing military spending numbers and progressive investments.

Money better spent could spawn a nation of thinkers and peacekeepers. Our federal spending could go to schools instead of the military. The money labeled as ‘wasted’ or ‘lost’ in Iraq was $11 billion dollars. With that money, we could pay the salaries of over 220,000 working teachers for one year. Teachers that could stimulate young minds into entering the field of science. If one billion of that money went to clean energy, education, or health care, it could have created 5,000 to 17,000 jobs in this country(Johnson, Ujala). We could use more billions in subsidizing education for people on their way to becoming scientists. If we used a tenth of the money going to the military annually, we would have enough money to fund multiple facilities with focuses on advancements in health and technology. I believe that we can do better with our money. The people in our world need less bombs, and more teachers. We need more advancements if humanity is to continue to exist, and those advancements should be in science rather than in war. Having the ability to spend so many resources, the United States government holds a responsibility to use them for the interests of the future.


 

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