- 400 million € to build the European Spallation Source (ESS) research facility in Lund
- 100 million/year to run ESS
- 50 million € to (re)education of mathematics teachers to save school mathematics from free fall.
lördag 6 juni 2009
Swedish Politics of Science and Education
The Swedish Ministry of Education and Research has decided to allocate
Together this corresponds to roughly 30% of the yearly total research budget of the Ministry of Education and is roughly equal to the extra 500 million € allocated to Swedish research over a four year period to save it from free fall.
ESS is a particle accelerator smashing neutrons into organic and non-organic material to find out "where atoms are and what atoms do". This seems like exploding a nuclear bomb over a city in order to find out where people are and what people do.
Is ESS wisely spent money? Not according to the Royal Academy of Sciences questioning the value of the science of ESS and anticipating that ESS will drain research financing, in particular in little Sweden. ESS is claimed to be a politically but not scientifically motivated project.
Is the money to a dysfunctional education of math teacher wisely spent money? Not according to a recent Ph D thesis by Sverker Lundin presenting a critical analysis of Swedish school mathematics in constant crisis.
Instead of spending big money to little effect, small money spent on introducing computational mathematics in the educational system could have a large effect both in atomistic materials research and in school mathematics as evidenced in my knols on mathematics education in the computer age and my previous blog.