Spending on Scientific Research
Almost all the sophistication we enjoy in our modern lifestyle are a fruit of scientific research. The quest in every stream of science is to make human livelihood better. It’s a long standing debate, ‘Whether Science is a boon or bane?”. One might say in most of the cases the intentions behind the researches are humane and constructive. Blame it on the crooked human minds that exploit their outcomes for destructive purposes.
Every grown up nation and other knowledge economies around the world devote a sizable fund to research and development in all the essential fields of science. Science is a discipline that never settles with believing, without seeing and testing. It’s a discipline of concreteness. It doesn’t believe in unshakable truths. It in fact questions everything and put everything to test.
Everyone, including the politicians and the policy makers, want to reap the fruits of the scientific research optimally. But, when it comes to funding them, very few seem to like it. To the common public science is by and large a hard pill to swallow. The technicalities and jargon that swarm in while scientific topic or a topic on technology surfaces, many find it incomprehensible. The less the public understand the quest of a research the more it becomes seriously concerned about the money that’s put into it.
Scientific research in the broader sense is a logical game of trial and error (if its experimental, and a mammoth task of data collection and analysis in some of the theoretical researches). Those who are involved in the research are in fact racers in the labyrinth of the unknown. Often the scientists themselves remain baffled about the outcome of a research work. It’s much like waiting to see what comes out of the Pandora’s Box. Naturally the outcome of any scientific research has a hand of probability as well. The meticulous efforts the researchers put in on a quest is though unquestionable, none, even them, couldn’t assure the outcome of it at times. That’s the way of the scientific research.
Given this picture about the modus operandi of scientific research in general, one should also be reminded about the success of the researches. Pages form the history of science reiterates the fact that, sizable of the scientific achievements are accidental. A good number of researches have begun aiming at something but have landed at something that was totally unexpected of. Yeah! Sometimes that’s the way science works. Like us, the scientists too are thrilled about their quest in research. Analogically, scientific research is akin to driving on a highway, with only the head lights as guide. All the driver could see is the portion of the road washed by the head light and what lies beyond is unknown even to the driver.
In fact this little piece of writing should’ve been appropriately titled ‘Investing in Scientific Research’. I just chose this current title since it aptly mirrors the public opinion. We might sight numerous examples from almost all streams of science, where the invention/discovery came first and its practical application was realized only later.
In the Indian scenario, almost every ruling government during its regime has no hesitation in allocating a lion’s share for defense. But when it comes to investing in research, there is overwhelming reluctance. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to promote and increase the quantum of fund for research and investing in developing the related infrastructure in favour of it, rather than trying to woo foreign investors in the name of ‘Make in India’.