The Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) was to have been the world's largest and most expensive particle accelerator. In July 1983, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) approved plans to build the collider. Ten years later, after 15 miles of tunnel had been constructed and almost $2 billion spent, Congress cancelled the project, despite extensive lobbying by the high-energy physics community. Escalating costs, charges of mismanagement, a new U.S. president, a failure to attract international partners, and the collapse of the Soviet Union all contributed to the project's demise. However, some scientists interpreted the termination of the project as evidence that the American public and their politicians were hostile to science. The case of the SSC is interesting from a science communication perspective both for its ...

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