The Case Against the SSC

I would like to lay out the scientific case against the Superconducting Supercollider because I think many of my colleagues who understand this case are hesitant to make it, not least because some of the arguments are two-edged. I am very hesitant myself, because I am not against the project, except insofar as it competes for resources which I see as needed more elsewhere. Let me organize my thoughts in terms of four slogans, each of which is aimed at sowing doubt about one of the myths supporti

Philip Anderson
May 31, 1987
I would like to lay out the scientific case against the Superconducting Supercollider because I think many of my colleagues who understand this case are hesitant to make it, not least because some of the arguments are two-edged. I am very hesitant myself, because I am not against the project, except insofar as it competes for resources which I see as needed more elsewhere.

Let me organize my thoughts in terms of four slogans, each of which is aimed at sowing doubt about one of the myths supporting the unique value of elementary particle physics.

  1. Science can be fundamental without being irrelevant.
  2. Money is important, but manpower and education are more so, and money affects these.
  3. The term "spinoff" should be erased from the language.
  4. The golden eggs are very seldom produced by the golden geese.

1. The first slide in many general talks given by my colleagues in high-energy...