The First Scientific Meeting of the Royal European Academy of Doctors-Barcelona 1914 (RAED), held in Fuerteventura between 8 and 11 June, claimed the value of scientific research itself, beyond its applications and its economic return. That was the main conclusion of the debate “¿Para qué sirve la ciencia a la empresa? Ciencia básica versus ciencia aplicada” (What good is science for business? Basic science vs. applied science), which was attended by the Nobel laureates and honorary academicians of the RAED Richard Roberts and Sheldom Glashow, the full academician Jaume Armengou, university professors Sonia Fernández and Juan Ruiz Alzola, and José María Baldasano, Jaime I Environment award. The session was conducted by the also academician and member of the Governing Board Jordi Martí.
Richard Roberts, Nobel prize in Medicine, defended a science without goals. “You can finance it or not, the only thing that is beyond doubt is that if you don’t finance the basic science you can make sure that there isn’t going to be any breakthrough in society”, he said. Glashow, Nobel prize in Physics, stressed the importance of the practical application of science, although he said that “the scientist must investigate for passion, not for money”.
Armengou defended the importance of the patent as a key element for the advancement of knowledge, while Fernández emphasized how the figures show that in the long run any investment in research is profitable for the economy of a country. Alzola stressed the importance of public investment and Baldasano defended the clear separation between science and the market.
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