“What we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean.” Isaac Newton. Long before Newton was a boy and since, scientists have worked tirelessly to expand the frontiers of human capacity and understanding. But science’s contributions to a productive economy, healthy population and sustainable world often take decades to play out and are difficult to price into tight funding budgets. Enter Big Science: the commitment of millions of dollars to expensive and often long-term research projects whose potential benefits to science and society cannot be guaranteed. Such advances as discovering the Higgs boson and launching humanity into space have been powered by this strategy, but big science comes with a big price tag.
With funding for both scientific discovery and application under increased pressure, how are priorities and investment levels determined? Who should be investing in science and how much risk is acceptable? Join our panel of distinguished scientific leaders as they dissect these challenges facing scientific discovery and the ongoing quest to find out what we don’t know.