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On the usefulness of useless knowledge

Nature Reviews Chemistry volume 1, Article number: 0001 (2017) | Download Citation

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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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References

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    The usefulness of useless knowledge. Harpers 544–552 (1939).

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    Das Wesen des Lichts. Naturwissenschaften 7, 903–909 (in German) (1919).

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    Intellectual freedom in academic scientific research under threat. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 52, 5654–5655 (2013).

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    What's so special about science (and how much should we spend on it?). Science 342, 817–822 (2013).

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    in Incentives and Performance: Governance of Research Organizations (eds Welpe, I. M., Wollersheim, S., Ringelhan, S. & Osterloh, M.) 223–238 (Springer, 2015).

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    Science — the Endless Frontier. A Report to the President on a Program for Postwar Scientific Research (National Science Foundation, 1945).

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Author information

Affiliations

  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.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41570-016-0001