Modern scientific research is often time-consuming,labor-intensive, and expensive. In many fields, the majority of research is conducted using funds from public sources. Is there then a responsibility on the part of scientists and research institutions to deliver economic value in return? If so, what does this mean for the many disciplines and research programs without immediately evident financial impact? If not, what is the social contract for dedicating public monies to activities that deliver no clear economic benefit? I will examine the rationales typically raised for and against public funding of "unproductive" science, and suggest alternatives to the econo-centric views that have dominated public discourse in recent decades.

"Must science be “useful?"
Public Lecture by Doug Sipp RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (Kobe, Japan) and Keio University School of Medicine (Tokyo, Japan)

Date: 31st October, 2018 (Wednesday), 5 pm in Dasheri Auditorium, SLC, NCBS.

Hosted by Arjun Guha (inStem) and S. Ramaswamy (inStem)) will be followed by a discussion.