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The State of Pure Research

I think it remains to be seen whether Google is going to finance pure research into science the way Bell Labs did.  Microsoft has created a research laboratory with the stated intention of encouraging a lot of pure research that may or may not bear fruit for the company, and I hope that that'll be successful.  

I don't know enough to know whether great things have come out of or will come out of those companies.  My fear is that there's a lot of pressure on public corporations no matter how well intentioned their managers are to produce results.  IBM continues to have a great research lab. A lot of the research, the more recent research, on, for example, algorithmic information theory, has been done at IBM’s research labs.  And that continues to be a place where pure research is done along with the research that has obvious application to the corporation.

60 Second Reads is recorded at Big Think studio.

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