High Risk Research

The birthplace of the internet is turning 50 this month.

DARPA, the Advanced Research Projects Agency, was created in the wake of the Russian launch of Sputnik to provide a high-tech research lab for the military.

Their current director describes the agency’s mission this way:

“DARPA will take a chance on an idea with no data. We’ll put up the money to go get the data and see if the idea holds,” said Anthony J. Tether, the agency director.

“That is the highest-risk type of research you can have.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were willing to provide that kind of support for research in areas that have nothing to do with preparing for war?

Just asking.