Fundamental Research Needs Excellent Scientists and its Own Space

  • Author: Jonathan Faiz
  • Published Date: 11 December 2011
  • Source / Publisher: Angewandte Chemie International Edition/Wiley-VCH
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
thumbnail image: Fundamental Research Needs Excellent Scientists and its Own Space

Fundamental research has become vulnerable as it is coming under increasing pressure to justify itself in order to receive the required funding. Support is often given to projects as a whole, but the results and the crucial breakthroughs from these programs always come from individual researchers.

In their Editorial in Angewandte Chemie, Helmut Schwarz and Daniela Kneißl, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Bonn, Germany, argue that fundamental research is essential for crucial scientific advances and outline the requirements for excellent fundamental research. They explain that major breakthroughs are invariably achieved by individual people and, as such, generous support for individual researchers is required, in particular earlier in their careers. They also point out that it is essential to acknowledge those who aim toward high-risk original goals in order to avoid unimaginative research.

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