Misappropriation of resources for high cost research projects

Other Names:
Inappropriate use of resources for fundamental sciences
Exaggerated benefits of scientific megaprojects
Scientific mega-projects
The extremely high cost of some forms of fundamental research results in many less costly research projects, often of greater immediate practical relevance, being deprived of funds. When such projects are first proposed the costs are usually deliberately underestimated in order to facilitate their approval. Subsequent escalation of the costs, ensures a further drain on scarce resources for less prestigious projects.
Major projects include: the Hubble space telescope, $2 billion; the superconducting super collider, $8 billion; the human genome project, $3 billion; the improved stratospheric and mesospheric sounder, £8 million. Space projects in general have been considered a questionable allocation of resources. It has been estimated that completion of big science projects in the 1990s will cost $65 billion, which could be better used for developing new technologies of commercial significance.

In 1990 the Pope opened a $150 million basilica in the home-town of the president of the Ivory Coast. It was built at a time when the government introduced a widespread austerity programme and with 70% of the population living in abject poverty.

Related Problems:
Reward biased research
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET