For centuries, the wisdom of the West of investing in basic science and technology led to its dominance in world politics and economics. Today, this wisdom is being put aside: fundamental research is losing its appeal to funding agencies and as a professional asset for job hunters. This state of affairs could exacerbate a dearth of innovations and lead to a transition of the “haves” into the “have-nots” of the world population. (Engraving: “Early Depiction of a Dutch Telescope” by Adriaen van de Venne, 1624).
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