Return on Science.  The giant Hadron Collider in Switzerland just paid a big dividend.  Scientists are pretty sure they finally found evidence for the Higgs particle (or so-called God particle) which explains why we’re all here.  NPR said the announcement “had profound implications for understanding our universe and explains the basic nature of the universe.”

Michael Barnett, from CERN told PBS, “It is responsible for the mass of fundamental particles,” he said. “Without that, you don’t get the stars and the planets and the universe that we see today. In that sense, it’s responsible for our existence … Without it, you’d have this cold, dark universe.”

CERN employs just under 2,400 full-time employees and hosts some 10,000 visiting scientists and engineers, representing 608 universities and research facilities and 113 nationalities. Planning for the giant facility began in 1954.  The Large Hadron Collider cost the 20 member countries more than $9 billion to date.

It’s great to see a return on investment from public science especially ridiculously ambitious projects like the collider.  We could use a similarly ambitious project focused on learning sciences.

Pathways to Citizenship.  Perhaps you, like me, watched Janet Napolitano swear in new citizens this morning at the White House.  The group of 85 were all active military.  Over 4,000 new citizens were welcomed in Independence Day celebrations.   The ceremonies made me think of all the young people in U.S. schools that don’t have a clear path to citizenship.  This country desperately needs coherent and inforced immigration policies that favor hard working students.

Tech companies are still having a hard time hiring qualified talent given the limited number of H1B visas. To skirt the problem, Blueseed, a San Franciso startup is proposing a floating dorm in international waters 12 miles off the coast.  CNET reports that 250 companies have expressed interest in coming aboard the vessel, where standard cabins cost $1,600 a month. This country desperately needs coherent and enforced immigration policies that favor smart people that want to work in the US.

 

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