http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7603257.stm Ok, so maybe the message in the article isn't quite so concise, but it seems that this is the growing opinion of some people who are in charge of funding science. (For example, I would be extremely interested to hear what Obama says---specifically---about funding our National Labs (FermiLab, Brookhaven, Argonne, Los Alamos, etc.). ) As a person who studies the "lesser challenge" of quantum gravity, I can say with certainty that I don't really care if society benefits from whatever I may discover. Conversely, should an artist who relies on government grants be told what kind of art to produce? The point is that the pursuit of knowledge, for the sake of knowledge, is an essential brick in the edifice of culture, just as the pursuit of art for art's sake. Personally, I have absolutely no interest in devoting any scientific inquiry into the field of climate science---I'd rather go work on Wall Street or for an Oil Company and make money than sit around analyzing core samples from Greenland. Thoughts?