Wir brauchen einen Markt für wissenschaftliche Forschung

Wissenschaftliche Neuerungen sind die wesentliche Grundlage wirtschaftlichen Fortschritts, und doch scheinen viele Nationen häufig darauf zu hoffen, auf den Zug von Entdeckungen, die in wissenschaftlich fortschrittlicheren Ländern gemacht wurden, aufspringen zu können. Dies mag in einer Frühphase der Entwicklung die praktischste und wirtschaftlichste Strategie sein; um jedoch die fortgeschrittenen Stufen wirtschaftlichen Wachstums zu erreichen, ist wissenschaftliche Forschung im eigenen Lande unverzichtbar.

Alle Regierungen versuchen, wissenschaftliche Forschung über die wissenschaftliche Ausbildung zu fördern. Aber die Ausbildung allein ist hier nur von begrenztem Nutzen. Schließlich ist auch die Wissenschaft eine Form des Unternehmertums: Sie erfordert eine weit entwickelte Organisation von Ressourcen und Arbeitskräften, Mut zum Abenteuer und die Bereitschaft, Risiken einzugehen, um möglicherweise große Belohnungen zu erwerben.

Normalerweise wird unternehmerischer Pioniergeist durch den Markt belohnt. Bestünde ein entsprechender Markt für die Wissenschaften, würden Wissenschaftler Firmen gründen, so wie Unternehmen dies tun, und die besten von ihnen würden Erfolg haben, die übrigen scheitern. Das Problem ist, dass die wissenschaftliche Grundlagenforschung überwiegend ein öffentliches Gut ist, das denen, die es verwenden, nicht vorenthalten werden kann, und das auf nicht vorhersagbare Weise Eingang in das Korpus wissenschaftlichen Know-hows findet.

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