For the greater good

April 23, 2015

The letter to the Irish Times signed by more than 900 scientists that warns of the costs of focusing research funds on business-led priorities is a commendable initiative (“Irish science ‘apartheid’ draws protest”, News, 16 April).

There will always be a tension between those who wish to see the attention of researchers directed at the problems of the day and those who understand the value of scientific freedom.

In my view, those scientists who are free from bureaucracy and don’t need to prostitute themselves by structuring proposals according to the wishes of funders tend to be content to contribute towards a social problem when someone approaches them for help.

Fanis Missirlis
Via timeshighereducation.co.uk

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