All too often, people get the idea that science is expensive to fund. You may have heard stories of how some large corporations use research labs as an advertising tool to boast about all of the things they make or how private universities spend big money on marketing so students will recruit for their school.
These are very important functions of academic research, but they’re not the only ones. There’s also the process by which scientists develop new technologies and tools. They test them on themselves or on others using rigorous studies to see if they work and are safe!
And then there’s what we refer to as basic scientific research. This includes studying disease causes, developing treatments and cures, and figuring out why someone might be susceptible to diseases. Some examples of this type of research include investigating the potential link between smoking and cancer or finding out more about heart disease risk factors.
There are many other ways researchers contribute to our health and wellness beyond creating new products and diagnostics. Unfortunately, these types of studies are less likely to garner media attention since they don’t feature dramatic results.
Basic research isn’t necessarily inexpensive, but it is always funded through grants from federal, state, and/or private sources. And while it doesn’t yield flashy headlines, it has major implications in improving overall human health and wellness.
History of medical research
Recent developments in medicine are made with an eye towards improving upon or replacing current practices, which is why most people associate medical advancements with costs that can sometimes seem excessive.
However, these new treatments and technologies hardly ever exist without years of research and experimentation beforehand. The truth is, scientific research is not free!
It is expensive to conduct, and it takes substantial funding to see results. This is because scientists must cover their expenses – such as food, lodging, and transportation – while they are seeking answers to important health questions.
Furthermore, researchers need appropriate facilities in order to be able to carry out their work effectively. These things take money!
History shows us that even when there was no budget, amazing discoveries were made. So even if you never have enough money for what seems like an adequate amount of research, you will at least benefit from the hardwork and expertise of past generations.
History of space research
Many consider NASA to be the main driver behind scientific progress today, but that is not always the case. Some say private companies are doing more important work than government agencies!
Private firms such as Google, Amazon, and Apple spend money in the billions every year on research and development (R&D). This includes things like developing new technology or finding ways to improve current technology you already have.
This isn’t necessarily for making life easier, however; it can be done purely for profit. Technology corporations do this so they can keep up-to-date with what their competitors are working on, thus bolstering their market share.
There has been a lot of talk about how monopolies are becoming an ever-growing problem due to the ease at which large businesses can dominate the field. Monopolies don’t need to make a good product – they just need to retain their status quo while investing in R&D.
History of military research
Military organizations have spent money to help keep us safe for centuries, going back at least as far as ancient Greece. The Romans conducted studies on animal health, learned about medicinal plants from the Greeks, and experimented with different types of projectiles.
During the Renaissance era in Europe, wealthy individuals funded scientific exploration and discovery- some even establishing foundations that continue to operate to this day.
In England, King Henry VIII founded the Royal Society in 1662 to promote knowledge and understanding of science and engineering. More recently, Congress established the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to analyze how much it costs to conduct federal government business.
So what do all these institutions have in common? They are not financed through taxpayer dollars, but by donations from private sources. This is very important to note!
Private donors choose to contribute to these organizations for many reasons, such as a desire to aid their field of study or an interest in spreading literacy. But more often than not, they are looking to gain something specific for themselves – like new medical tools or technology.
History of technology research
Inventions and discoveries that have completely changed our lives today are not new. Technology has been around for centuries, we just now as a society assign credit to individual people instead of groups or companies. The things we use everyday such as computers, cell phones, and cars were conceived years ago.
New technologies are being implemented at lightning speed these days, how can we keep up? As consumers, we need to know who is getting paid what for what products and services! This article will go over some easy ways to find this information.
It’s best to start with looking up patents online. Patents are an intellectual property (IP) tool designed to incentivize innovation by granting exclusive rights to an idea or product for a limited period of time. Technically anyone can file for a patent, but only businesses and individuals eligible to do so can afford to pursue it.
History of agricultural research
Historically, agriculture has played an important part in developing and shaping civilizations. Ancient cultures built upon what was previously done to ensure their crops would grow well and they had enough food to survive.
Agriculture is often described as the domestication of plants and animals, but this isn’t quite accurate. Agriculture is actually the production and consumption of plant or animal-derived foods that are more than just necessary for survival.
These foods can be eaten directly or processed into other substances we use daily like chocolate or collagen!
However, most early humans didn’t eat only those things. They gathered wild fruits and vegetables which were later cultivated and bred using scientific methods.
From there, farming emerged as one main source of income and subsistence. Before modern technology, farmers needed lots of space to grow their crops so they organized villages and towns around fertile land.
Another critical component of early farming is irrigation.
History of animal research
Prior to the 20th century, most scientific studies were conducted using experiments on animals. This includes testing chemicals for safety or efficacy as well as studying disease symptoms and treatments. Because these tests are very costly, scientists use small numbers of animals in each experiment to reduce the overall cost.
However, many people believe that taking an ethical approach is better because it helps prevent unnecessary pain and suffering for animals. There is some evidence to suggest that this belief is unfounded- doing a study review found no difference in success rates when comparing animal to human test subjects!
Furthermore, some experts argue that since humans and other mammals share similar physiological processes, looking at diseases through the lens of other species can be just as effective.
History of plant research
Prior to the 20th century, humans had little knowledge about how plants functioned or what could be done with them. Scientists were mostly concentrated in studying animals, experimenting with different ways to use energy to see if they could learn anything from their chemical reactions.
It was not until the 19th century that scientists began exploring other areas of study. The phytoplantist studies plant matter and its relation to air and water. Plants play an important part in our daily lives as we rely upon them for food, clothing, and shelter.
A small amount of scientific research has gone into finding new uses for plants. Some experiments have been conducted to determine whether or not certain parts of plants can prevent or cure disease. These are sometimes called medicinal plants.
Other studies look at how plants naturally defend themselves against attack. Certain chemicals found in plants help protect them from being attacked by others. This is why some people believe eating berries helps keep your health. (Yup, I said it! 🙂 )
But aside from these two categories, there aren’t many other uses for plants. That isn’t going to change anytime soon.
History of chemistry research
Over the past two centuries, mankind has spent an incredible amount of money conducting scientific research. In fact, it is estimated that the total cost in direct expenditures for all types of research across the globe are around $100 billion per year!
That’s not including indirect costs like education or unemployment due to research being conducted elsewhere. Or the loss in tax revenue because some industries can’t exist without academic funding.
While studies vary as to what percent of this budget gets re-appropriated back into future research projects, we can be sure that none goes towards entertainment or political campaigns.
Overall though, even with these overhead expenses, science still wins out when you look at the return on investment. A lot of benefits come from just having a better understanding of nature and how things work.
These benefits range from life saving medical advancements to optimizing industrial processes. It also gives people a sense of awe and inspiration by observing the natural order of things. All of these combine to make our lives more pleasant and meaningful.
But alas, this vast expenditure of funds isn’t enough to satisfy everyone. Some believe that too much research is going on, while others think there’s not enough.