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

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Tue Jun 30 11:20:22 UTC 2009

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.

Stathis Papaioannou

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