Mainstream science invests billions of dollars in searches for the unknown — but which unknowns are worth the money?
The Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, cost about $10 billion to search for supersymmetry. After smashing subatomic particle at unprecedented energies that were expected to reveal the existence of new supersymmetric particles, none was discovered.
Risk is an inevitable component of innovative research at the frontiers of science. But how should we decide whether it is worthwhile to take a particular risk and what level of risk should scientists tolerate for a given price tag?
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