Abstract

Is big science worth the price? Alarms are sounding over the future of critical areas of research. This short look at the impact of the largest new research projects is reprinted, by permission, from The New York Times Science Section of 4 Sept. 1990. This survey is one of a series that began on 27 May with an overview of several projects that supporters believe will herald a new age of discovery, but that critics fear will starve scarce Federal funds for smaller, more practical projects. An article on 29 May about the Superconducting Supercollider was followed on 5 June by a report on a project to decipher the entire human genetic code. The space station Freedom was examined on 10 June and an article on 19 June discussed the Earth Observing System, which will study the global environment from space.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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