Science, Business, and Government are Partners

Lots of people like to separate science, business, and government for whatever reason. Some individuals simply see them as very different parts of society, and these people may simply believe that it makes sense to separate them out politically and psychologically as much as possible. Other people may separate these disciplines for ideological reasons. Many people have some frustrations with business and government, while they may be more positive to science and innovation. It has been said that science and art have more in common with one another than science and business, and plenty of people would agree with that statement.

In fact, science, business, and government all interrelate in very important ways. Scientific innovation creates new business opportunities for everyone involved. It can also make governments work better, while potentially giving them different dilemmas to resolve or different concerns to address. Governments and businesses will frequently fund scientific research, making scientists effectively dependent on the people of the business and political world. Grant writing is now a profession in its own right, since scientists have to depend so much on grants from private and public institutions. Maintaining a positive relationship with the business world and the political world is now nearly part of being a scientist.

Scientific research, unlike many academic disciplines, fortunately manages to attract investment. Plenty of businesses see the opportunity for profit in what scientists are working on at any given time. Governmental departments may see the same thing, and they are aware of the importance of technological progress when it comes to the growth of a nation. While people in the Humanities departments and similar departments within a given university will often struggle when it comes to getting funding, the people in the sciences are usually going to fare much better. Even some of the most abstract science projects can receive funding in the current political climate. Those that are demonstrably important to the health and well-being society at large, such as important cutting-edge medical research, have a tendency to be celebrated in business and in government.

However, it is important to keep in mind what effects governmental funding and business funding can have on science and technology, and on innovation in general. For one thing, it does help determine which scientific research projects get funded and which ones do not. Some savvy individuals may notice that there is something of an imbalance when it comes to some parts of human knowledge, especially these days. In some cases, this can be attributed to the fact that certain types of scientific research are going to be more profitable than others. Governments depend on scientists to give them some of the objective information that they need for the sake of some of their most important decisions. This is the research that is going to receive governmental funding.

It is true that governments do fund medical research as well. However, it should be noted that medical research funded by the government is going to face certain challenges. For instance, the government funding for stem cell research was unceremoniously curbed during the 2000s in the United States, and this was largely a matter of ideology and the government responding to the ideological demands of the voters or the perceived ideological demands on the voters. Even businesses can succumb to this problem. It has been profitable for businesses to help fund obesity research for a long time, for instance, which is part of the reason why there is so much information on that subject in the public sphere at the moment. The diet industry sometimes funds this sort of research directly, because it is very profitable for them. People should keep this situation in mind when they look at what types of scientific research always seem to dominate the news and public discourse in general.

The connection between science, governments, and business is not always ideal. It can sometimes keep scientific research confined along certain potentially restrictive lines. It can sometimes lead to situations in which regressive ideology will stifle science. In other cases, regressive ideology will simply determine the direction of scientific research and progress, for better or for worse. However, this symbiotic relationship has certainly helped the development of science as well. There is a reason why a lot more scientific projects get funded in the modern world, especially compared to many of the scientific projects of the past. When scientists had to rely entirely on rich patrons, they were much more stifled than there are today. Science parks have much more support today, and they would never even have existed in the old days.