With Targeted Research, Scientists Not Allowed to Pursue Serendipitous Discoveries

(p. 303) When scientists were allowed to pursue whatever they found, serendipitous discovery flourished.
Today, targeted research is pretty much all there is. Yet, as Richard Feynman put it in his typical rough-hewn but insightful manner, giving more money “just increases the number of guys following the comet head.”2 Money doesn’t foster new ideas, ideas that drive science; it only fosters applications of old ideas, most often enabling improvements but not discoveries.

Source:
Meyers, Morton A. Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs. New York: Arcade Publishing, 2007.

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