Throughout the history academic institutions established and maintained the affirmative reputation of a country of its origin by way of disseminating quality research and knowledge. Yet far beyond a national interest, employees of academic institutions contributed to global societal progress, as scientific research is universal in its core nature. Revolutionary breakthroughs that drove the world into the XXI century originated in academia and all game changing breakthroughs originated from exhaustive, long term curiosity driven research.
Curiosity driven science, or basic science, is not motivated by a specific agenda or a final outcome, but includes a wide variety of research paths, which extend the knowledge and understanding of basic laws of nature. Every industrial revolution has its roots in academia. With that in mind, basic science represents a knowledge capital and an international asset.
In recent years, academic research is becoming overly focused on engaging in short term scientific projects, with the societal attention being shifted towards solving the profitable needs. Applied research is gaining more attention from private and governmental investment funds, directing the majority of international science projects towards swift and profitable solutions. This conduct naturally provokes a question, if motivated by making a quick profit, is it possible for scientific research to contribute to society?
To identify all relevant steps in an emerging idea from which one can innovate and industrialize R&D into applicable technology, it takes time, patience, and knowledge. Applied science is the foundation for crafting profit, but nurturing scholars to advance in the field of unknown is the foundation for crafting scientific innovation. This does not mean that scientists should run wild and play just for the fun of it. They have an enormous responsibility towards humanity, accordingly, the social confidence invested in them must be respected and reciprocated. Quality of science, ultimately, determines the great value of pending future in the first place, as well as the economic prospects in the second.
Engineer, inventor, and science administrator who lobbied for the development and funding of basic research and education, wrote in 1945:
“In 1939. millions of people were employed in industries which did not even exist at the close of the last war - radio, air conditioning, rayon and other synthetic fibers, and plastics are examples of the products of these industries. But these things do not mark the end of progress - they are but the beginning if we make full use of our scientific resources. New manufacturing industries can be started and many older industries greatly strengthened and expanded if we continue to study nature's laws and apply new knowledge to practical purposes.”