No. 35




The importance and influence of science

08 June 2017


RiTo No. 35, 2017

In the world that is changing at an increasing speed and due to ever more complex problems, the importance of science is growing.

New and first-time tasks cannot be solved with old knowledge and methods. The question is, which arrives sooner: whether we find new solutions – or concerns about energy, water and food supply, climate change, migration and technological stratification accumulate. Thus the problem of understanding the importance of science is above all the question of perceiving that investing into science today reduces damages in the future. Investment into science is profitable for the society in the direct sense, and the social impact of science is increasingly less measured on the basis of “pure scientific result”, that is, scientific articles and references. The social impact of science is increasingly manifested, for example, in its capacity to fulfil commissions from the public sector and enterprise. The latter is measurable in money and, for example, an analysis of the results of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development which ended recently concluded that every euro invested in research activities would generate at least 11 euro as a direct or indirect impact over the coming 25 years. The profitability of an average public sector investment into research and development by the United Kingdom is 20 per cent, according to the data of 2014.