The GYA’s Importance of Fundamental Research working group launched its report titled “Back to basics: researcher’s perception on the global state of funding for fundamental research” during an online event in October with contributors from Australia, India, Ethiopia, Israel, USA and Panama, among others.
The report (download available here)) delivers the outcomes of a survey of researchers from around the world on the state of our research system, specifically regarding funding for fundamental, use-inspired, and applied science.
“The findings of the report emphasise that researchers around the world see funding for basic research decreasing, in the context of increasing funding for applied research – and that this will come with significant societal costs in terms of future innovation and capacity,” said GYA alumna Anina Rich (Macquarie University, Australia), lead author of the report.
While the Back to Basics report is now launched, the work is not done. These outcomes need to be used to promote the importance of fundamental science with decision makers both in academia and in the political realm. Continued monitoring of the global status of blue sky science funding is also required to allow for appropriate corrections.
“We need funders and governments to value fundamental science, understanding that in the long term, this will lead to innovation and translation, rather than pushing researchers to try to ‘do it all’ – from the foundations through to applied outcomes – to get funding,” Rich says.
Future fundamental science working group outcomes and events are in the works. Meanwhile, feel free to contact the Importance of fundamental research WG lead Syed Abas (Indian Institute of Technology Mandi School of Basic Sciences, India) for questions or concerns.
The group also published “Restoring Canada’s Competitiveness in Fundamental Research: The View from the Bench” in June 2017.