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.

Image courtesy fo Shutterstock. 

comments powered by Disqus