EMBO Reports 11 (7):488 (2010)

Antoine Danchin
University of Hong Kong
The dichotomy between the research to generate knowledge and the application of that knowledge to benefit mankind seems to be a recent development. In fact, more than 100 years ago Louis Pasteur avoided this debate altogether: one of his major, yet forgotten, contributions to science was the insight that research and its applications are not opposed, but orthogonal to each other (Stokes, 1997). If Niels Bohr ‘invented’ basic academic research—which was nevertheless the basis for many technological inventions and industrial applications—Pasteur developed what we might call ‘motivated’ research. How is research motivated and by what? By definition, scientists are citizens and members of the general public and, like the public, they are motivated by two forces: on the one hand, in Rudyard Kipling's words, “man's insatiable curiosity”; on the other hand, a desire for maintaining and improving their well‐being. These are not contradictory to one another; curiosity nourishes dreams of a brighter future and leads to discoveries that contribute to well‐being.
Keywords applied research  societal motivation  academic research
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

At Arm’s Length? Applied Social Science and its Sponsors.Heidi Kjærnet - 2010 - Journal of Academic Ethics 8 (3):161-169.
Ethics in Research in Mathematics Education.Allan Okech - 2010 - Journal of Academic Ethics 8 (2):129-135.
Alive and Well: The Research Imperative.Rebecca Dresser - 2012 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 40 (4):915-921.
Reflections on My Experience in Human Research Ethics.K. G. Davey - 2009 - Journal of Academic Ethics 7 (1-2):27-31.


Added to PP index

Total views
83 ( #131,439 of 2,455,894 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #225,826 of 2,455,894 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes