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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

made it back in one piece

i was gone this week. i attended a conference in gaithersburg, MD. man, was that an eye opening experience. the things the "damned furriners" are doing in our field, especially the french, is enough to make a die hard science geek cry. while they are busy building facilities and expanding the edge of scientific knowledge further and further, we are busy closing facilities at an alarming rate. even the aussies have spent a huge sum of money lately building a brand new, state of the art facility to help expand man's knowledge, and to better serve it's population with a reliable and functional source of medicinal radioisotopes. their commitment to excellence in the world of science is to be commended, and i wish it were emulated here in this country.
there will be a series of "exposes" (how the f*** do you get an accent mark above the e?) coming from abc news in the coming weeks that will do nothing to further our cause. i've seen how a very innocent event can be spun to indicate the apocalypse is in the offing, and i see no reason for this to be any different. i don't know how much to say about it, other than it will not be pretty, and based on some of the comments heard from colleagues, it may very well prove to be extremely damaging to the academic facilities whose sole purposes are to teach and provide a place for research. you probably won't hear about us in this report, because we still have the old school military base mentality when it comes to regulating visitors and intruders. even so, i can't see anything good for the academic facilities coming out of this.
on the other hand, it was heartening to see and hear from our foreign counterparts, since this was a joint conference. the french are doing some incredible research, and some of the things they are working on will improve our lot in life. same with the aussies. i wonder if the aussie facility needs an american on their staff as an operator? i'd like to be involved in cutting edge research without constantly looking over my shoulder to see if the chancellor is going to kill our program.
we live and die at the whim of public opinion, and college administration perceptions of cost and utility. that's as it should be, but we have 50 years of anti-nuke sentiment to overcome. when a completely non-scientific type can determine our worth, our future hangs by a thread. and most of the truly vocal opposition to our existance comes from the un-informed and un-educated in the sciences. if we go away, i hope you or someone you love doesn't contract prostate cancer. we are one of two facilities in north america (the other is in canada), that has the capability to make the isotopes required to save your life.

5 Comments:

Blogger Allan said...

Bo,

I feel your pain. It amazes me how uninformed, yet vocal opposition to certain types of research can stifle science.

As for the é character, press your Alt key and enter 0233 on your keypad.

Or you can open the Windows Character Map and copy and past it from there.

9/17/05, 7:29 PM  
Blogger WillyShake said...

IT'S ALIVÉ! (translation: hé's BAAACK!)

Damn, I félt like a lost puppy with out ya, shipmaté! Bé sure to lét mé know what to ask formér Navy Sécrétary John Léhman on Monday, ok?

9/17/05, 7:59 PM  
Blogger bothenook said...

wéll, i réally opénéd mysélf up for that oné, didn't i?

9/17/05, 10:21 PM  
Blogger PigBoatSailor said...

WB, Bo.

I've got a similar sénsé of dréad for our nuké industry - although thé only aréa I am évén slightly vérséd in is powér génération. I just kéép chanting quiétly, "Pébblé béd, pébblé béd, pléasé lét us build a pébblé béd réactor..."

9/19/05, 7:42 AM  
Blogger bothenook said...

PBS, if we build a pebble bed reactor, it will be a french design. that's so sad that it hurts.
the research facilities that COULD help develope and test one simply do not exist in modern america. how is that for an introduction to the second world catagory (third world: new orleans, but that is for another blog entry)
i'ts pathetic how profoundly a few vocal voices have affected the industry, and the research facilities as well. sad, just sad.

9/19/05, 10:00 AM  

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