Tag: pure science

A recent Wall Street Journal article named The Myth of Basic Science by Matt Ridley makes a fascinating argument that government spending on basic science does not result in technical innovation. The article argues that, instead, most innovation results from tinkering, and only after the tinkering results in new technology, will science catch up to fully explain it.

 

It uses steam as an example where it notes that the science of thermodynamics did not mature until after basic steam engines were invented and operating. In other words, the article argues that science simply fills in the knowledge gaps of innovative ventures.

 

It then goes on to argue that therefore government sponsored basic science is a not an effective investment.

 

As often is the case, Wall Street Journal and its writers raise an interesting point but jump to conclusions rather than fully working through the problem.

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