Basic Research and Science

Goals

Gain a comprehensive analysis of basic research and basic science, including trends around basic research in the US and globally, funding trends, life science vs. other areas, definition, and key insights and challenges in the space

Early Findings

Definition

  • Basic research is defined as the "systematic study directed toward greater knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications towards processes or products in mind".

Insights & Challenges

  • Basic research funding is on the decline due to research having a greater dependence on corporate funding, which has an emphasis on potential profit and thus performance drives dollars invested.
  • Scientists face challenges and bias towards applied science when selecting research, noting they often have to choose research that appeals to the public or to journals rather than 'pursuing the best questions and uncovering meaningful truths'.
  • A key challenge is that applied science that increases market share is valued over pure research that pushes the frontiers of knowledge.
  • Another source highlighted that federal support for research has stagnated in the last decade, leaving most funding in the hands of private interests.

Proposed next steps:

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