To the Editor:
Re “The Tevatron” (editorial, Jan. 22):
It is not only sad that such a productive atom smasher as the Tevatron in Illinois will be shut down but it may also not be wise. When, in 1993, Congress shut off funds for the superconducting supercollider being built underground in Texas, many of the newly unemployed physicists found jobs on Wall Street. Wouldn’t you rather have the nation’s physicists smashing protons than designing and smashing collateralized debt obligations?
Jay M. Pasachoff
Pasadena, Calif., Jan. 22, 2011
The writers are, respectively, a visiting scientist at Caltech and a research associate at Williams College.I can only imagine the letter to the editor now. "It is not only sad that the Pfizer Sandwich site in the UK may be shut down, but it may also not be wise. Many foreign regimes would pay healthy sums to unemployed industrial chemists to develop processes for certain dual-use industrial chemicals. Wouldn't you rather have the nation's chemists synthesizing pharmaceutical compounds than designing and deploying weapons of mass destruction?"**
* Why doesn't DOE build massive chemistry experiments for the employment of chemists? I'm sure origin-of-life chemistry could use a little boost, to name a random field.
**A note to any US/UK intelligence assets reading this blog: this is satire.