Date: 2010-09-08 12:08 pm (UTC)
pseudomonas: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pseudomonas
I think scientists should pay their way, but one can't just judge value by what turns a profit in the short term. Elucidating basic knowledge that's either purely abstract or has possible application in the very long term has value too - and this is the kind of thing that is more reliant on government funding since it's not likely to be funded by industry.

I have no problem with the government trying to ensure that such work that does have commercial application generates profit for UK industry, but that shouldn't be the basis that research is prioritised.

Date: 2010-09-08 12:23 pm (UTC)
andrewducker: (Default)
From: [personal profile] andrewducker
Ditto this.

Date: 2010-09-08 12:33 pm (UTC)
pseudomonas: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pseudomonas
I should add that I'm coming from a position of that the government should be pushing money into anything that's going to get a good return for the country on the investment.

Date: 2010-09-08 12:56 pm (UTC)
mirrorshard: (Terrella)
From: [personal profile] mirrorshard
(Disclaimer: have been a scientist myself.)

I rather think that scientists don't just pay their way, they pay quite a few other peoples' way as well. This is just another expression of the government's reprehensible failure to invest sensibly in things that will bring a decent rate of return.

Date: 2010-09-08 01:31 pm (UTC)
doug: (Default)
From: [personal profile] doug
I think that the speech that Vince Cable actually made is a much more interesting, thoughtful and reasonable contribution to the debate about science, research and innovation, and how to support them, than the media story about it. I don't agree with the premises he's starting from (in particular, that his Dept must find cuts of the order of 25%), but given that, he's going about it pretty sensibly so far IMO.

Date: 2010-09-08 01:32 pm (UTC)
andrewducker: (Default)
From: [personal profile] andrewducker
Also, if a bit of research is obviously going to pay off in the near future, then a company will already be paying for it.

Date: 2010-09-12 11:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pjc50.livejournal.com
The problem with demanding specific, measurable returns is that it requires something that can be patented and commercialized; in doing so you lock everyone else out of research in that field for 25 years. E.g. The brca1 patents which slowed down breast cancer research until they were recently invalidated.

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