June 18, 2013

Prosperity, opera and public funding of R&D

The argument, advanced at the [annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in February 2013], that a heavily indebted and politically dysfunctional United States can shortly resume its twentieth-century growth pattern, if only it keeps investing in research and development (R&D), strains credulity. 
In a session devoted to the connections between basic research funding and economic growth, no one produced a single paper or reference to support this argument. [C]uriosity-driven research on an industrial scale is a relatively recent invention, and I would suggest that it may be a sign — rather than the cause — of a successful economy.
Colin Macilwain wrote this and I respect Nature for publishing it.

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