These are scientific issues where there is more of a controversy among people in general than among scientists. I doubt most people care about dark matter, most generally accept that the Theory of Relativity (which one?) is true because Einstein was smart, most don't understand genome mapping or P vs. NP.
It might be possible to get a Ph.D., that way, but building a career in science requires more than managing to do something original enough to convince a thesis committee.
Actually, anybody who disagrees with me very probably has a lower IQ than I do. As well as anybody who agrees with me. There's lots of people out there with a higher IQ than mine, but vastly more with lower ones.
SLS is also called the "Senate Launch System", due to massive political interference and pork spreading. I have a lot less confidence in it than I do in Space-X, but having multiple programs has its own advantages.
Yes, but it's disappointing. It is going to slow Space-X down considerably for several years. Assuming Space-X doesn't go bankrupt, and I don't expect that, they'll be back and with better rockets. It'll just take longer.
If you find that the robot is deficient in some way, you build another robot and send it to Mars. The cost of sending a robot to Mars is trivial compared to the cost of sending a team of scientists, so you can repeat many, many times and still stay cheaper than a manned mission. Also, since you're launching hundreds of rovers, you're covering a lot more ground than the scientists can.
There are reasons to send people to Mars, but doing science isn't one of them.
Any extinction-level event like one we've got traces of would leave the Earth far more habitable than Mars, and keeping the species alive and thriving would require more concentration on what was happening to Earth.
Assuming Earth was eaten by a giant mutant space goat, consider what the species would need to survive on Mars. It's not possible to live on Mars without an advanced civilization and economy, and for species survival this would have to be completely supportable and expandable on Mars. My gut feeling is a minimum population of a million, with sophisticated resource extraction and manufacturing facilities. That isn't going to happen any time soon, and it isn't clear to me that waiting a few decades to send humans to Mars is going to matter.
Is that the per-unit cost, or the cost of the program spread over the number purchased? Often the R&D costs, which are typically massive with a new warplane, are amortized over the fleet. If so, the individual F-35A may cost significantly less.
To make sense of this, you need to figure out what the real job mix is. "Chemist" covers a lot of things. In some fields, the Feds tend to contract out the lower-level jobs, and keep the higher-paid people on the payroll. If Fed chemists pretty much all have ten years of experience, then they could make less than their private sector counterparts while Federal chemists as a whole made more than the average.
There's a difference between pay and total compensation. I get paid a certain amount. I also get several types of subsidized insurance, a 401(k) match, the cleverly named "employer" part of FICA paid for me, and that mounts up. The amount of employee benefits does seem high to me, but I don't know any details, or what they're counting. I've seen my time off presented as part of employee compensation, so if I got four weeks it would be listed as 1/13 of my total pay.
108 is awfully cold, if you use SI units.
A diploma from an Ivy League college is valuable. Some people will get the diploma and still screw up, but nothing's perfect.
It's hard to go hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt at a state school, since they don't typically charge that much. Also, a state institution diploma is worth having, although not as valuable as the Ivy League diploma.
A diploma from one of the for-profit universities is typically less valuable, and the institution will do its best to get as much money as possible.
The lesson here is that money should be spent where it gets better value.
If Iran hands a nuke over to a terrorist organization that uses, the world's major powers will figure out that it was Iranian, and the current Iranian government will cease to exist.
You're referring to widespread but probably isolated acts by people who have little or no political power. If the arsonists are caught, they'll be tried. There's a difference between small groups of private fanatics, despicable as they can be, and government.