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More on ITER January 10, 2008

Posted by gordonwatts in politics, science.

David Pace has an excellent posting on ITER funding. I was going to leave a comment but his comment engine doesn’t want me to “command can’t be processed.”

One thing I would note is that the “don’t re-program” statement sounds like it is in the explanatory language. That would jib with another comment I heard that that fact, plus that the treaty is the law-of-the-land would give the DOE enough lee-way to pay off this years obligation.

David uses logic to follow the sign posts and concludes that the US is out of ITER forever. If that is the case for all the projects that got canceled or zeroed out, then that is a disaster: major science policy decisions were made over the course of several days without any apparent consultation with the scientists. This is a perfect way to run our country’s science program into the ground.

So, I hope many of these projects have been “delayed” for a year rather than de-facto canceled!

As a commenter pointed out, of course, I can’t really know what happened – and the actual  decision process will probably not be known for a long time if ever.

P.S. David — sorry your comment took so long to be posted on my blog: it got marked as spam, and I don’t check the spam bucket often enough!


1. pace - January 10, 2008

Thank you for your kind words. I am sorry about the comment problems (I have installed a new commenting engine and will spare you the boring details of what failed with the previous one). I can relate to the spam issue as a full 100% of the comments on my site that have included URLs have been spam.

Finally, I really hope that in a few months the ITER and high energy funding will be returned and I can write a post about just how wrong I was in predicting otherwise.

2. gordonwatts - January 11, 2008

I would hope so — however, I wouldn’t count on it. I think part of the reason to push for it, however, is to make sure we are in the middle of things next year. 😦

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