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Funding for a good cause

In response to the Perspectives column written by Charles Cooper, "Catching the nano wave":

I just read your column on the need for government funding of nanotechnology. While in general I agree with you, I believe that to engender broad public support, such research will have to provide something more tangible than a faster CPU or front-side bus.

If it can help us solve any of our major social problems--like outrageous gas prices, pollution, unemployment and jobs being shipped overseas, the war on terror or greedy, nearsighted politicians--then we should fund it to the max.

No, I'm not one of those people who think we shouldn't have gone to the moon. But I do think we should get our priorities straight and see what we can afford right now--I think you mention this aspect in your column.

My point is that we should not push for funding "in general" but for funding to solve a specific problem--a purpose that can be readily justified to Congress and the American public. If it can then be shown to solve one problem, it will be easier to get funding for other projects.

J.R. Nelson
Idaho Falls, Idaho