Friday, July 06, 2007

U.S. Theoretical Physicists Organize To Stem "Outsourcing"

Outsourcing? Of theoretical physics? Who would have thunk?

It seems that there is an organized effort to stop this "outsourcing" of theoretical high energy physics, a field of study that, from my perspective, has been hit the hardest in the US in terms of neglect of funding.

Esoteric fields such as high energy physics have always been difficult to "justify" in terms of cost and benefits. Certainly for theoretical high energy, while it doesn't cost as much as the experimental side with the building of multi-million dollar (even billions) facilities, it is more challenging to argue for more funding other than to support and analyze the output of current high energy physics facility such as the upcoming LHC.

But strangely enough, and especially to the general public, such field of study is more "sexy". News about high energy experiment and particle physics facility fills the newspapers very often, whereas advances in material science/condensed matter seldom get that kind of publicity. Yet, the latter has an easier task of justifying its existence and its funding due to the direct impact on human activities and well-being.

So go figure.


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