With the approach of the final Shuttle launch next week, Pew has done a survey of public opinion, that shows continuing support for maintaining our “leadership” in space, whatever that means.
As is often the case with such polls, put together by people who don’t understand space policy themselves, those questioned are presented with a false choice:
Q.17 Thinking about the space program more generally, how much does the U.S. space program contribute to:
a. Scientific advances that all Americans can use
b. This country’s national pride and patriotism
c. Encouraging people’s interest in science and technology
You’d think that if they lacked imagination to come up with anything else on their own, they’d at least provide a d) Other, so they would know to think harder next time. I can think of at least two:
d. Increasing the nation’s wealth and standard of living
e. Increasing the potential for human freedom and opportunity.
I’d like to raise the money to do my own poll, that would actually be useful in guiding policy.