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Noah Smith @Noahpinion
, 9 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
For a little distraction from Election Madness, here's a @bopinion post about science!…
A funny thing happened in particle physics recently: Physicists discovered exactly what they expected to discover, and no more.

People are calling this the "nightmare scenario".…
Why is it a "nightmare" to have all your theories proven right?

Because much of modern science is about doing bigger, more expensive versions of the same old research.
You'd expect that to lead to declining research productivity, as the big easy findings in each field get mined out, and more and more scientists are thrown at smaller and harder extensions.

And...well, we do see declining research productivity in many fields.
If you keep on going in the same research direction, decade after decade, century after century, you're going to hit diminishing returns.
So how do we keep rapid scientific progress going?

By finding *new fields* of inquiry, and reallocating our smart people to those new fields!
If scientists do research that follows the research of their grad school advisers, there can be a doom loop, where the less promising a field gets, the more researchers go into that field!
This doom loop could be hurting society at large, because it diverts our smartest people from the areas in which they're most sorely needed.

For example, climate change.
Science needs less iteration and more reallocation!

Out with the old, in with the (uncomfortable but) new!!

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