Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Some things never change...

Sign at the Royal Observatory


At 11:23 AM, Blogger David Schultz said...

Daphne tried to post the following:

Wait a sec... our problems here are that the gov't is more than willing to buy hardware, but refuses to fund the people to use it.

There was an extensive article in the CS Monitor [Christian Science Monitor] as a recent director of GFDL [NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory] retired. He said he could always get money for those supercomputers, but struggled constantly to fund scientists to use them.

Then someone recently (this past week, I think) said that there is a funding initiative for hardware technology and that people costs were explicitly forbidden.

I think we have the opposite problem. I'd love to go back to that day where the people were valued.

At 4:07 PM, Blogger David Schultz said...

Daphne sent me the article from "The defining issue of 21st century: global climate., By: Spotts, Peter N., Christian Science Monitor, 08827729,
9/28/2000, Vol. 92, Issue 216.

[The retiring director was Jerry Mahlman.]

"While acknowledging progress in climate science, Mahlman expresses a frustration at the lack of interest in
Congress to adequately fund federal climate-change research projects and set up an infrastructure to coordinate
them - a situation he terms "a national disgrace." When money is spent, he says, it tends to be on computers and
satellites to the exclusion of more researchers to analyze the results.

"I call it the out-of-control hardware-brainware issue," he says. "We've had very nice success in getting funding for
new supercomputers at GFDL. We can't get any money for people to empower our investment in supercomputers.
That's just dumb."

Meanwhile, he says, demand for climate-change information is growing at a rate comparable to tech stocks on Wall
Street in the 1990s. Water resource managers, agricultural interests, and others are thirsty for data.

"How do you build for a 100-year flood when you don't have a clue about what the hydrology is going to be like in
100 years?" Mahlman asks.

At 4:08 PM, Blogger David Schultz said...

To Daphne,

My comment was more on the incomplete funding of science, whether it was funding people but not instruments or funding instruments but not people.

Thanks for your post!



Post a Comment

<< Home