On the usefulness of useless knowledge

Basic research may or may not lead to new technologies. Our safest bet in this gamble is to give our brightest minds the funding and freedom to dream big.

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Author information


  1. Institut für Chemie Technische, Universität Berlin, Berlin 10623, Germany.

    • Helmut Schwarz
  2. Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, Bonn 53173, Germany.

    • Helmut Schwarz


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Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Helmut Schwarz.