Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The ILC and the Economy

Most of us who follow the saga of the International Linear Collider (ILC) realize the technical and scientific importance of the project, even if it costs roughly $10 billion. So we tend to sell it based on that. However, it appears that Fermilab and some ILC advocates have been selling the ILC to its surrounding communities based on the economic impact of such a project.

This is not going to be an easy sell. As the news article has mentioned, something like that may not be very convincing. We should make sure we do not over state the importance or impact of something. The international space station suffers from the same fate, because it was sold as a scientific laboratory when not much science is actually done (or needed to be done) in such an environment. It certainly didn't justify the cost.

We should not let the ILC suffers from the same fate. Sell it as much as we can based on the scientific importance. Unless there is some clear economic impact studies, we should not push it based on such a thing. I think there are certainly a number of economic impact, but we do not need to go with the scare tactics described in the article. Not many people will buy it anymore.


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