Uncertain Chad responds to a reader suggestion regarding the cost of the Human Genome Project:

The Human Genome Project (yes, you have to pronounce those capitals) cost about $3 billion. If $3 billion were yours to spend on scientific research, how would you spend the money?

by polling the house:

For the sake of variety, let’s restrict it to your own particular subfield, so, for example, how would I spend three billion dollars on physics?

Once we get past physicists’ notorious tendency to settle for order-of-magnitude accuracy

How much did the Human Genome Project cost U.S. taxpayers?
In 1990, Congress established funding for the Human Genome Project and set a target completion date of 2005. Although estimates suggested that the project would cost a total of $3 billion over this period, the project ended up costing less than expected, about $2.7 billion in FY 1991 dollars. Additionally, the project is being completed more than two years ahead of schedule.

we can discuss how we might have preferred to spend $2.7 billion of the US taxpayers’ money.

Read the rest of this entry »