Why curiosity-driven research? Four scientists speak on the need for basic science


good scientists are always on the

lookout they will keep their eye out for

techniques and other disciplines it's

all intertwined that's how science moves

forward these days you don't know what

you're going to find and you don't know

when you start how useful it can be

because you never know where the next

discovery is really going to have in

fact you could take almost any feature

of modern life any invention nearly all

of the time it's not just one basic

discovery but a multitude of basic

discoveries the tools that we use to see

the embryo in beautiful colors all come

from chemistry all the advances in

microscopy come from physicists who

worked on pushing back through the

limits of the wavelength of light the

breakthroughs really provide insights

and can help us live better here on

planet earth I cannot think of any major

discovery that hasn't helped enhance our

lives which one of those out very

valuable things about basic research is

that it's the unknown unknown it creates

an entirely new industries that you

didn't even know could exist electricity

for Watley molecular biology you can

look at computing this is a place that

has invested in in science for a long

time it's eroding and that's part of

what we have to do now is also to to

stop that erosion because you think of

the 20th century as the century of

important scientific discoveries it was

done because of investment and I hope we

can keep it going through the 21st