“Of what use is a newborn baby?”

This is to support your online-campaign #fortheknowledge. Our modern world owes its prosperity and the high quality of life that so many of us enjoy to scientific developments over the last 350 years. While the direct benefits have come from technology, this is built entirely on curiosity-based research. From the very beginning, this was truly international; at first, pan – European and across the Middle East, and truly global over the last 150 years. Even in the darkest of times, scientists have shared their knowledge globally. Now, in these dark times because of COVID-19, person-to-person communication is very restricted, at least for some time. Fortunately, the very technology that science has engendered enables much of this global communication between scientists to continue. It is very important that much of our research is curiosity-driven. One is reminded of the answer thought to have been given by Michael Faraday when asked what use was all this work on electricity: “Of what use is a newborn baby?”. Maintaining and improving the lives of all people in the world is built on a bedrock of unfettered curiosity-driven research.

Professor Robert G Gilbert FAA
University of Queensland (Australia) and YangZhou University (China)

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