Monday, June 18, 2007

Surface Trade, Not Deep Research

Over a mile below the surface South Dakota toils.

The state is looking to win an NSF bid for the construction of a "Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory." It has spent $2.1 million so far this year prepping an old gold mine.

If approved for funding, this will be the country's first DUSEL, with others existing in Russia, Japan, and Italy. Naturally, the fact that we don't have one was a cited reason for making it. On NPR today, I heard talk of needing to "catch up" with the rest of the world because the new science can be so powerful.

I have a much cheaper idea than spending $116 million to make a lab at least three other countries already have. Just do what we usually do when someone creates new technology we don't have: trade for it. We are, after all, "way behind" in Wii technology but we still have them.

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