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The Pandemic Shows Why the U.S. Must Invest in Public Research [via Scientific American]

In the weeks to come, we’re about to relearn that old truth: necessity is the mother of invention. Researchers will work around-the-clock because of the world’s need for a cure for COVID-19. But it’s worth keeping a corollary thought in all of our minds: necessity may be the mother of invention, but curiosity and imagination are the parents of discovery.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it abundantly clear that the world now needs America to be curious—specifically, to continue to push the frontiers of discovery. We will, once again, need to marshal our curiosity to solve big, intractable problems. Though we face a current crisis, this sort of thing is in America’s DNA: we have always been able to commit ourselves to human endeavors in science and research that bring out our country’s best—and push humanity forward. We’re called to turn the page on America’s recent past and rediscover our powers of discovery.

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