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Computers Alter Science Options
Tracy
Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 11:25:54 AM
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spearshaker
Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 2:55:00 PM

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An excerpt from the above link:

"Computing is reshaping scientific research in a number of ways, Dr. Börner notes. For example, independent scientists have increasingly given way to research teams as cited by scientific papers in the field of high-energy physics that routinely have hundreds or even thousands of authors."

A word of warning from someone who was in a position to know:

"In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract has become a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard, there are now hundreds of computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by federal employment, project allocations and the power of money is ever present and gravely to be regarded." (Dwight D. Eisenhower)

A recent graphic example of this threat that's no longer much in the news, but still with us: A group of extremely well-educated, highly degreed, very well-financed technical experts built nuclear power plants, several of them, near the coast, at sea level, in one of the most earthquake-prone regions of the world. Much computer effort went into this, along with all the pooled scientific talent.

And now radioactie iodine is raining down on us on the West Coast. This is just one obvious example. Go figure!
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