Science is Growing Bigger and Bigger

The history of physics is littered with unrealized grand experiments: old blueprints buried in file drawers, half-built machinery packed in crates, excavated earth filled with pooling rainwater—the detritus of Big Science. As the frontier of human knowledge pushes forward, so, too, does the cost and the complexity of further exploration. Telescopes grow larger. Space is probed at greater depths. Atomic particles are smashed more forcefully. Many scientific questions now demand resources that no individual can marshal—no single university, no single company, and, increasingly, no single government. “But big science has the special problem that it can’t easily be scaled down,” the physicist Steven Weinberg recently observed in The New York Review of Books. “It does no good to build an accelerator tunnel that only goes halfway around the circle.” And so such projects are often born out of vexed politics, then hampered by limited funding, and by a willingness to abandon them at any time. To some extent, the experiments that succeed are aided by a willful dose of unrealism—budgets imagined too lean, timetables too short, human behavior too nearly ideal. Crisis emerges when reality finally asserts itself.


And in order to keep expanding it is requiring more and more collaboration between countries and more resources to build more and more epic experiments.

Folksonomies: science civilization collaboration

/art and entertainment/movies and tv/reality (0.577199)
/technology and computing/consumer electronics/camera and photo equipment/telescopes (0.560080)
/business and industrial/aerospace and defense/space technology (0.546138)

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Big Science:Organization (0.775998 (negative:-0.275116)), Steven Weinberg:Person (0.476156 (neutral:0.000000)), physicist:JobTitle (0.394400 (neutral:0.000000)), The New York Review of Books:PrintMedia (0.351363 (neutral:0.000000))

Physics (0.963605): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Science (0.878022): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Scientific method (0.870684): dbpedia | freebase
Knowledge (0.653744): dbpedia | freebase
Epistemology (0.609376): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Steven Weinberg (0.602305): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Behavior (0.596563): dbpedia | freebase
Theory (0.592975): dbpedia | freebase

 A Star in a Bottle
Periodicals>Magazine Article:  Khatchadourian, Raffi (March 3, 2014), A Star in a Bottle, The New Yorker, Retrieved on 2014-02-25
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: science history fusion public policy