[ExI] Private and government R&D [was Health care in the USA]

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Wed Jul 1 04:15:03 UTC 2009

On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 7:20 AM, Stathis Papaioannou<stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/6/30 Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>:
>> On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 8:52 AM, Stathis Papaioannou<stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> What you're listing here is engineering achievements, not basic or
>>> pure science. Pure science is by its nature something private industry
>>> won't fund: a particular project is very unlikely to produce
>>> commercial returns, and if it does it may be decades down the track
>>> and the initial discovery probably won't be patentable. No company is
>>> going to invest in high energy physics in the hope that it may lead to
>>> wormhole technology.
>> ### This completely incorrect. Universities, private trusts and large
>> private companies are funding basic research all the time. AT&T has
>> supported a lot of pie-in-the-sky research. So does Google, and even
>> Microsoft. You gain goodwill, advertising revenue, in-house
>> competence, a lead over competition in commercialization, this all
>> adds up to real money.
> It's true that there are some notable examples of privately sponsored
> pure research, especially in the US, but in many cases this is a
> feel-good measure, like giving to charity, rather than an attempt to
> gain a return on investment. That's OK, but the world's scientific
> output would greatly diminish if it's all we had to rely on.

### So you think that government investment in pure basic science
(like astronomy or cosmology) is *not* purely a feel-good measure?
What makes you feel that free people would want to feel less good?


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