A nice editorial about science funding. This comes in a time of discussion about the future European Research Council that, if it ever gets of the paper, will someday fund basic research in Europe.
"High-quality science will give rise to more unexpected and therefore valuable—in all senses of the word—insights. That is less likely to occur if some savants take a 'forward look' and conclude that we should work on bionanotechnology or RNA-control elements or systems biology. Any attempt to predefine knowledge generation will be doomed to failure."
On the other hand, without goals it is a lot harder to turn knowledge into useful applications and progress.