My old friend and colleague Neil Tyson has long been an advocate for exploration, for basic investment in science, and for pushing the boundaries of what we know and can do. In early March, he got a chance to make his stand official: he testified before the Senate.
Here's what he said:
Not bad, not bad at all. His passion for this is clear, and his thinking true. There is a lot of room for the devil in the details -- he and I agree that doubling NASA's budget would be A Good Thing, but there would have to be a requisite increase in oversight, and many more administrative details. But that's not the point when you're talking to Congress about inspiration: you're there to inspire. He's trying to make a much larger point and not get bogged down in details.
And his main point, I think, rings true. After all, "How much would you pay for the Universe?"