The excerpt below is from an article in The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
The November 2007 National Nano Engineering conference in Boston on
advanced nanotechnology applications for commercial and military
space systems included dozens of speakers and presentations on
cutting-edge space applications. Hundreds of people attended, with
nearly every seat in the hotel's grand ballroom filled for the first
session. The list of invited speakers included researchers from the
Naval Research Laboratory; the National Institute of Standards and
Technology; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; the national
laboratories; international universities; and private space systems
developers. Each explained in detail the recent advancements made in
their respective fields.
Countless opportunities unfolded in all directions--sources for
funding, publicity, potential collaborators--and everyone raced
around to seize the moment. At the National Reconnaissance Office
table there were free pencils and coasters, while nearby, university
researchers mingled with officials from the defense industry and
foreign nationals on how to best harden satellites against
electromagnetic interference using the latest progress in nanomaterials.
The excerpt is a graphic image of the wholesale wedding of physicists in
and out of academia to the military establishment. The article is
however not critical of this. Rather it presents the position that it's
inevitable that space warfare technology will proliferate spurring a
second arms race of sorts. Its call is that the international community
and U.S. policy makers need to begin discussing the ramifications of
pursuing military space immediately.
I believe the problem is more fundamental: Why should physicists and
electronic engineers have to do this kind of science against humanity?
Cannot scientific whores find more benign Johns to fund their pleasures
in research and invention? Certainly we should be bombarding the Obama
website with requests that science for people be funded as opposed to
science for warfare. To do this coherently i suggest that we construct
a list of science for people projects or research topics deserving of
funding. We can do this on this list. In the meantime can someone
provide references to data on to what extent the scientific community is
funded by the military?