A plea for fundamental scientific research from Nobel prize winning Canadian chemist, John Polanyi.
Polanyi is here reacting against another false perception propagated by the neconservative ideology of the present government. This view holds that research is not good if it does not directly aid the business community's bottom line. The problem here is with the world "directly". Fundamental research is often a roulette game. If you hit big you hit BIG! Think about lasers..
Much fundamental research, though, does not pan out or does not produce knowledge of immediate benefit. But neocon ideologues want immediate results.They can't see beyond the next quarter's profit margin. They seem to suffer from a kind of mental myopia, a short sightedness of vision.. meanwhile human demography, our planet's ecology, the climate, the resource base we live from, all go to hell in a handbasket.
The Haper government, true to its ideological roots, has announced a further re-visioning of the goals of Research Canada: science will be the handmaiden of industry. The cart will drive the horse..