Un marché pour la recherche scientifique

Le progrès scientifique est le moteur principal du développement économique, mais de nombreux pays espèrent apparemment profiter des découvertes réalisées dans des pays plus avancés sur le plan scientifique. C'est effectivement la stratégie la plus pratique et la plus efficace pour ceux qui n'en sont qu'au début de leur développement. Mais pour véritablement se développer, un pays a besoin d'une recherche scientifique nationale.

Tous les gouvernements cherchent à encourager la recherche scientifique au moyen de l'éducation. Mais l'éducation en elle-même n'a qu'une utilité limitée en ce qui concerne notre propos. Après tout, la science est une forme d'entreprise qui suppose une organisation sophistiquée des ressources et des hommes, un esprit ouvert à l'aventure et la volonté de prendre des risques dans l'espoir d'en tirer grands bénéfices.

Normalement, le marché stimule l'esprit d'entreprise. Si un tel marché existait pour la science, les scientifiques formeraient des entreprises, et comme dans le monde des affaires, les meilleures réussiraient tandis que les autres échoueraient. Le problème est que la recherche fondamentale est essentiellement un bien collectif qui ne peut être retiré des mains de ceux qui s'y adonnent et dont les résultats viennent s'ajouter de manière inattendue au savoir déjà accumulé.

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  1. Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images

    The Summit of Climate Hopes

    Presidents, prime ministers, and policymakers gather in Paris today for the One Planet Summit. But with no senior US representative attending, is the 2015 Paris climate agreement still viable?

  2. Trump greets his supporters The Washington Post/Getty Images

    Populist Plutocracy and the Future of America

    • In the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump has consistently sold out the blue-collar, socially conservative whites who brought him to power, while pursuing policies to enrich his fellow plutocrats. 

    • Sooner or later, Trump's core supporters will wake up to this fact, so it is worth asking how far he might go to keep them on his side.
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    The Man Who Didn’t Save the World

    A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the buyer of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," for which he spent $450.3 million. Had he given the money to the poor, as the subject of the painting instructed another rich man, he could have restored eyesight to nine million people, or enabled 13 million families to grow 50% more food.

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    Two Myths About Automation

    While many people believe that technological progress and job destruction are accelerating dramatically, there is no evidence of either trend. In reality, total factor productivity, the best summary measure of the pace of technical change, has been stagnating since 2005 in the US and across the advanced-country world.

  5. A student shows a combo pictures of three dictators, Austrian born Hitler, Castro and Stalin with Viktor Orban Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images

    The Hungarian Government’s Failed Campaign of Lies

    The Hungarian government has released the results of its "national consultation" on what it calls the "Soros Plan" to flood the country with Muslim migrants and refugees. But no such plan exists, only a taxpayer-funded propaganda campaign to help a corrupt administration deflect attention from its failure to fulfill Hungarians’ aspirations.

  6. Project Syndicate

    DEBATE: Should the Eurozone Impose Fiscal Union?

    French President Emmanuel Macron wants European leaders to appoint a eurozone finance minister as a way to ensure the single currency's long-term viability. But would it work, and, more fundamentally, is it necessary?

  7. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

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