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This BLOG is for LLNL present and past employees, friends of LLNL and anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA. The opinions stated are personal opinions. Therefore, The BLOG author may or may not agree with them before making the decision to post them. Comments not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fleeting Youth, Fading Creativity

Anonymously contributed:

Here's an interesting article from WSJ.

"Another possible factor in the decline of successful young scientists is the institutions and funding mechanisms that discourage the sort of risky research that produces major innovations. Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University who has studied the funding bodies that support the arts, such as the National Endowment for the Arts, notes that these institutions frequently become more risk-averse over time. "They become more beholden to special interests and fall under greater political scrutiny," he says. The end result is an increasing unwillingness to support projects that might fail. Mr. Cowen notes, for instance, that the NEA has gone from directly funding "whomever they wanted, with very little scrutiny"—this led to many success and scandals, such as the furor over Robert Mapplethorpe—to a recent focus on Shakespeare, classic jazz and the teaching of poetry in high school. While such programs are laudable, they're also unlikely to produce major cultural innovations.

I'm betting the next Lawrence Fellow will be doing more simulations of radiation damage. That's despite a total lack of support for LIFE in Washington. Does this mean that we are being audacious or autocratic? Was there ever any rationale provided for shifting LDRD towards the institutional SI? The trend seems to be towards centralized control.


Anonymous said...

Creativity is risky. Best to keep things safe and secure and not risk any possible bad media. It's the NNSA path to success!

Anonymous said...

Risk Aversion - DOE/NNSA Strategic Plan.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if the new generation spent more time being creative instead of rioting on campus in the name of entitlements we'd be back in the race with the rest of the world when it comes to innovations and science. Berkeley was a joke in the 60's and as you can see todays news is reporting, "protesters" destroying the campus in the name "free education and specials rights for all" at the tax payers expense. Not only no, but heck no !. The rest of the worlds youngsters are laughing at you. Ever heard of NO FREE RIDER or maybe working an eight hour a day job, going to school full time and still getting "A" in all subject without Mommy and Daddy's help. Evidently not. We are a nation of spoiled brats, a leading cause for our demise.


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