The Lifeblood of Scientific Innovation

Three of our Research Rockstars discuss why public funding is so crucial to the basic science that makes the big breakthrough possible.

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The wider community often only hears about research at the point when it will have an immediate impact on their lives. But applied research can only come about if basic science has already laid the groundwork. Three of our Research Rockstars discuss how public funding is essential to keep basic science going, so that innovations can move from research to reality.

What is the danger inherent in losing public funding for research?

Chris Eliasmith, Brain Researcher
University of Waterloo

“We’ve actually been seeing some changes in public funding recently… a lot of funds have been shifted to be essentially under control of industry. But the problem is that most of these kinds of long-distance, difficult questions, it’s not obvious what the application to industry is in three years.”

Mark Daley, Computer Scientist
Western University

“Every tiny little advance I make, I’m standing on the shoulders of thousands of people who came before me, and many of those are basic scientists.”

What is the impact on our healthcare system?

Andrew Krahn, Heart Researcher
University of British Columbia

“If we don’t invest, we don’t create that culture of innovation, of posing questions, of challenging people – and healthcare stagnates.”