Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Its all relative

I noticed a story today about the Government announcing that over a five year period (2016-2021) they will be investing £6bn in scientific research infrastructure. This sounds like a lot of money but actually is only a little less than the cost of one of the two new aircraft carriers currently being built for the Navy or about one tenth the amount of tax evasion in the UK per year. Don't get me wrong you can do a lot with £6bn (or a billion per year) but I'm reminded of a famous exchange between a General and a scientist during some governmental budgetary meeting in which the General asked the scientist "what's the point of spending all that money on project X when it could be used to defend our country?", the scientist replied, well sir, projects like X make our country worth defending.

No comments: