Did you know this quote dear readers ? It is attributed the famous american physicist Richard Feynman.
“Science is like sex: sometimes something useful comes out, but that is not the reason we are doing it. “
To be honest I thought it was really funny at first, but also a bit more profound then it actually seems. It leads to the question: So, why do we actually do science ?
In the book I am currently reading, it is written that David Baltimore (Also mentioned in a previous post) claims that the answer is “To gain more knowledge”. In a utopic world, this is the only decent answer a scientist should give.
In our real
morose world, this question is more and more often answered by “To cure diseases”, or “to make our lives better”. But these aims are in no way the purpose of science, they are simply a direct consequence of it.
Only a little handful of discoveries, and probably no major paradigm shift have ever occurred because someody wanted to cure a disease. But all these major discoveries gave birth to entirely new applied research fields, therapeutics, technologies, investments, jobs, economical growth, etc …
I wish more people (and especially the one deciding of the science budgets) would actually see the big picture here. And that was it for the quick late night meditation of the day 🙂