In an effort to wake some sleeping bloggers ... let me pose a question.
Yesterday I happened upon a clip of a town-hall style meeting that was apparently held near where the CERN facility (the mega-blaster, earth-consuming blackhole-creating gizmo) just recently came up. The clip was from the year before construction began, to give local residents a voice. This lady stood up and asked why they were spending 100s of millions of dollars to find out whether the Higgs boson exists? Also, what's the value of answering (or starting to answer) the Higgs boson question now vs. in 20 or 50 years?
What's a good answer to that?
Btw - The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project has direct costs of ~£2.6B; that's just the cost of the collider and detectors. Not including the costs of operating it, labor, etc.