The Scientist Gardener on Innovation versus Investment

There’s a good post by the Scientist Gardener on Investing in Innovation. It’s a response to James (who has Giant Corn) who com­men­ted on Research Funding in a post that I would have linked to at the time if I’d been up to speed after Christmas.

He makes the point that it’s not enough to have a good idea. I think a lot of the push for rel­ev­ance or real-world res­ults ignores that the Investment, Development and Marketing of new products all require non-trivial skills. Simply ask­ing uni­ver­sity depart­ments to mon­et­ise their research takes fund­ing away from what they’re (hope­fully) good at — hav­ing ideas — and fun­nels it into what they’re not so good at.

It reminds me of the quote from John W. Gardner:

The soci­ety which scorns excel­lence in plumb­ing as a humble activ­ity and tol­er­ates shod­di­ness in philo­sophy because it is an exal­ted activ­ity will have neither good plumb­ing nor good philo­sophy: neither its pipes nor its the­or­ies will hold water.

Could you say some­thing sim­ilar about the soci­ety that scorns pure research, but exalts shoddy business?

Alun Salt. ORCID 0000-0002-1261-4283

When he's not the web developer for AoB Blog, Alun Salt researches something that could be mistaken for the archaeology of science. His current research is about whether there's such a thing as scientific heritage and if there is how would you recognise it?

Pin It on Pinterest

Liked this?

Be the first to share this post with your friends!