Inventing New Products/Inventions/Funding Basic Science
QUESTION: Hi Marty,
I want to make basic sciences/open-ended research (physics, chemistry, space science etc.) independent of federal/public funding and instead, more market friendly.
Even though everything in our world today is an assembly of achievements by physicists and mathematicians, these are the fields that have no money simply because they create open-ended knowledge which cannot be sold in the free market.
I am frustrated because I cannot figure out any possible business model to "sell basic science" or create a demand for it. Even industries that invest in research, invest in "directed" research with clearly defined goals. Directed research has it's limitations. For ex., modern telecommunications was born out of open-ended curiosities of scientists about the nature of the universe (Maxwell's equations) and not a bunch of highly paid smart people trying to develop technologies for long-distance communication. No amount of money or smartness would have given any answers because no one could have imagined there's something called electromagnetic waves, abstract and invisible, which can be used to make phone calls across the world!
Please give me any ideas/models to develop funding mechanisms for basic science research by addressing the fundamental economic problem of how to "sell" it or create demand for it.
ANSWER: Hi metalrose,
Eloquently stated, I whole-heartedly agree with you. There are certain breakthroughs that are discovered by accident just because someone (or a group of someones) are curious and wander around in discovery looking for absolutely nothing but attentive to absolutely everything. The world needs these wondering wandering discovery engines.
You might want to check out the links below. I think they might be what you're looking for. Or at least they will be dual-purpose to give you hope that there are people that believe as you and I do, and to cultivate your curiosity to dig deeper to find other people, foundations and organizations that support undirected scientific research.
The quote below is from: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/hell-pay-for-that/
"The Kavli Foundation began relatively quietly by contributing $7.5 million to a center for theoretical physics at the University of Santa Barbara in 2001 and then to an institute for particle astrophysics and cosmology at Stanford University. A year ago the foundation joined the ranks of notable small grantors by making endowments to eight more institutes at major universities. But instead of following the funding trend toward seeking nearer-term, measurable returns, the foundation pays for nondirected research
in its three areas of interest: astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience. After Kavli finds the right people and institutions, it's hands-off. He just asks for an annual report and the occasional invitation to a lecture or event."
Kavli Foundation: http://www.kavlifoundation.org/
I hope this message finds you well and inspires you to keep seeking where you mind, spirit and muse takes you.
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QUESTION: Hi Marty,
Thank you for your response and sharing the link.
The link talks about Kavli foundation and Mr. Kavli, who is a philanthropist.
My concern however revolves around basic science not being dependent on charity/philanthropy or the government. I am trying to explore ideas to make it an independent thriving enterprise that can directly take part in the free market.
For that, it's the larger masses that must be willing to consume new knowledge and research much like they consume television shows and celebrity gossip in magazines.
Do you think that humans fundamentally enjoy things like dining out in a fancy restaurant or cable television for example, more than they enjoy reading or exploring frontiers of knowledge?
Ultimately, I'm trying to generate a consumable and sell-able product/service from open-ended basic scientific research. Any ideas on how that could be achieved?
This subject needs to be explored in another medium other than one way messages. Let's connect on Skype and have a conversation.
Please send a connection request to:
Then we can have a conversation with real-time feedback.
Look forward to speaking with you!