Detroit doesn’t simply decay with time. It wrestles with decay by putting up new skyscrapers and tearing down others. Fresh strips of sidewalk were paved in front of vacant lots. Some beautiful old mansions were renovated but never quite finished. When Detroit hosted the Super Bowl in 2006, the city even tried to string festive lights on abandoned office buildings.
“To me,” says photographer Camile Jose Vergara, “the whole story got more and more interesting as time passed, because it got more complicated.”
The Human Genome Project—a $3.8-billion international human genome mapping project that ran from 1988 to 2003—wasn’t just a money-sucking vanity initiative that only reaped profits for personal genetic testing companies like 23andMe. The project has, in fact, driven $796 billion in economic impact and generated $244 billion in total personal income, according to a new report from Battelle. Sometimes, pricey long-term science projects are well worth it.