Monday, June 16, 2008

For the beauty of science

"But we must not forget that when radium was discovered no one knew that it would prove useful in hospitals. The work was one of pure science. And this is a proof that scientific work must not be considered from the point of view of the direct usefulness of it. It must be done for itself, for the beauty of science, and then there is always the chance that a scientific discovery may become like the radium a benefit for humanity."

Marie Curie, "On the discovery of radium", speech delivered in 1921.

We should always keep this in mind, and resist the spreading of the capitalist logic into the realm of research, as is being done for example right now in France to the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) with the recently created Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR).

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