Prof. Serge Haroche (Collège de France, Paris) is giving a keynote speech at the Annual Meeting 2017 of Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
“Blue sky research” is basic research, driven by curiosity. Politicians often favor “useful” research (things that are closer to technology), however the history of science has showed that it is short-sighted yo focus on applied research. Indeed, basic and applied research are the two sides of a coin, cannot be separated.
He went on the speech by showing an array of examples how “blue sky research”, which the scientists didnot know initially what they are used for, later on (can be 100 years) laid the foundation to create new technologies, eg. LASER, MRI, Computer… came from quantum physics.