Many people argue that the high cost of research outweighs its potential benefits. Provide one argument for and one argument against increasing current funding for atomic-structure research. Use specific examples from this lesson in your answers to support each position.
The use of the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine is a topic of debate with arguments for and against its use of this machine for medical purposes. An argument that supports the use of the MRI is that research in this field of atomic structure has already led to numerous advances that have provided great public benefit. An example is finding the soft tissue damage that an x-ray would not find because of the magnets, low radio wave frequency and tuning of the MRI machine. Although these machines do not fix the problem it acts as a powerful tool to give doctors and surgeons non-invasive imaging of the body by sending pulses and tuning the molecules of the body. Atomic – structure is still in its infancy and the reason that research in this area is so important is because investing in understanding how particles work will allow us better understanding of the basics of the world we live in.
If research in this area never existed, it would be harder to understand how electrons, protons and neutrons work. If it were not for Rutherford taking the time to develop the gold foil experiment, we would not even know the basics of how atoms work. Current data on how atoms and electrons operate is based strictly on observations alone because of this predictions and accuracy are commonly inaccurate. Continued funding should be either increased or maintained to understanding the design of particles and start at the grass roots to understanding more complex compounds. In contrast, a common argument against the need for continued research is that the cost outweighs its benefits. An example of this is the MRI and X-ray machines and how expensive it is to create and maintain them.
One of the major issues with the MRI and X-ray machines is that, although they may provide answers to patents and doctors. These machines are expensive to use and “not all people have equal access to the benefits resulting from this research” (pg. 3). The accessibility is a huge issue because regardless if funding is there, whom are the machines going to be used on? Who is reaping the benefits of this research? There are many ethical and sociological issues that come to light with increased funding, accessibility, portability and universality that pertains to the use of atomic – structure research. This is also in addition to the quality of results coming from the experiments and purposes the funding is used for. Some argue that the money would be of better use on research that is more tangible, that reaps results quickly and effectively. Research on atomic-structure is also very different from 100 years ago when finding the basics of an atom was much easier and less expensive. In conclusion, if atomic-structure research is continued, the debate will continue to be a contributing factor as to how much financial support this much needed research will attain.