General Writing and Grammar Help/comma


"The question of the relevance of scientific research to society is very important today, when society is confronted with a number of urgent problems."

The word 'when' is placed just after 'today' in this sentence. If 'when' refers to 'today', so why a comma is placed between 'today' and 'when'? If I want to omit comma,  will it be wrong? What differences will appear, if I don't use comma between these words?

A comma is optionally placed after a long phrase or dependent clause for easier reading. This rule is found in several grammar books.

I had almost reached my office at five minutes to ten, when my boss phoned me.

However no comma in: My boss phoned me when I had almost reached my office at five minutes to ten.

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