The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901 Message #1464482
Posted By: Amos
18-Apr-05 - 01:59 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Here's the article:
Posted on Sun, Apr. 17, 2005
Quiet change in priorities poses dire threat
IT'S TIME TO SOUND THE ALARM OVER SHIFT FROM BASIC, UNIVERSITY PROJECTS
Mercury News Editorial
Of all the government sources of funding for basic technology research,
few have delivered more breakthroughs for Silicon Valley and the U.S.
economy than the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency,
That's why a shift away from basic and university research in DARPA
funding is alarming for the valley and for the future of innovation in
the United States. Long-term casualties could eventually include
America's competitiveness and military readiness.
Unfortunately, the Bush administration doesn't get it. White House
representatives have said that warnings about America's fading
competitiveness are false alarms.
Perhaps lawmakers can set them straight. Some 35 senators and
representatives recently expressed concerns about the falloff in
Pentagon funding for basic research. They need to turn up the volume
and broaden this debate.
The shift at DARPA already is affecting computer science and
engineering departments at leading universities across the country. It
is taking money away from basic research and putting it into narrowly
defined projects with short-term goals. These kinds of projects tend to
favor military contractors over academic institutions.
That's undermining an irreplaceable resource. The kind of university
research that DARPA historically funded has produced breakthroughs in
knowledge itself. Its results were shared broadly by the tech industry
and defense circles alike.
What's more, the shift is undermining a symbiotic relationship between
university and military researchers with a long list of successes,
including recent advances in network-based battlefield technologies and
sensor networks. By focusing on shorter-term projects, many of them
classified, university graduate students are unable to participate.
``That's a bad thing, because our mission is to educate the next
generation,'' says Jim Plummer, dean of Stanford's engineering school. (...)
More arrant and arrogant stupidity from the elected representative of the dull and unthinking.