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But one thing governments are generally poor at is scientific research. They are just too generally reluctant to take any risks and that cuts off the most important advances. (The Manhattan project (atomic bomb) was an expection to this rule

If I may: another VERY important exception was the NASA's Gemini and Apollo projects. Where would be the computer industry today without the advances fueled by the needs for miniaturisation? None of us would be surfing the Net and indulge in Foolishness, driving our PC (and Mac ;-D). And that is just one example.

But as far as biologic research goes, JD is right on the money (pun intended!). For instance, the Russian, and then the Soviets had a plethora of top notch physiologists back in the 1900's up to the 1940's. Yet, they weren't able to generate significant pharmaceutical and medical contributions during the whole century. And they can't blame the USA for that; the state of American Medecine in 1900 was, er, shall we say underwhelming? The Soviet had plenty of time and potential to be the best.

My 2 n'gwees
Francois
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