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Talk:Basic science

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Lead quote by the Iron, er, Lady?[edit]

This reminded me of something that I had come across for unrelated reasons some time ago:

...[W]e need to guard against two dangerous fallacies: first that research should be driven wholly by utilitarian considerations; and second, the opposite, that excellence in science cannot be attained if work is undertaken for economic or other useful purposes.
Margaret Thatcher, of all people[1]

I thought it would be appropriate for a lead quote, but on re-reading the speech, I'm not so sure. Any comments, particularly from people more familiar with British politics?--ZooGuard (talk) 18:12, 11 January 2011 (UTC)


  1. Speech to the Royal Society, 27 September 1988

External Links[edit]

Why is that video commented out? The unbusinesslikeman of business 12:57, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

I'm not a scientist... but[edit]

I'm not sure I buy this definition, at least the way it's most often heard. "basic science" seems to be more used as a term to cover the kinds of things most kids do (or should) learn in school. "basic science including basic biology, chemistry, earth science". (Physics is usually considered hard enough not to be "basic". It's also a pejorative used against crack pots, as in "that's not even basic science". I don't want to change it, cause maybe it really is used as a term for research. Would anyone care to comment? Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 17:55, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

It is an unusual definition, basic science is defined on WP as physics, Chem, and biochem, with similar definitions at uni. TyAnnoy 17:59, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
I think we need to up-play the distinction between "basic science" and "applied science" and that might sort things out. -- Seth Peck (talk) 18:02, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, that would work well. TyAnnoy 18:04, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
When I was growing up it was "Pure" alchemy as opposed to "Applied" alchemy. Like WfG, I associate "basic" science with science 101. Jack Hughes (talk) 18:18, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
It's not a definition I'm familiar with. Usually this sort of thing is referred to as "curiosity driven" or "open ended" research. I also don't think it actually exists. Pretty much all science research will find some use somewhere. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 18:24, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Does mad science qualify as "basic"? "Those fools down at the university said it couldn't be done, but I've done it! I've done it! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!" MDB (talk) 18:30, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Only if it gets results. Then it's just science done by a madman. Consider Nikola Tesla, then think of his work on radio and alternating current versus his "death ray" and the whole Wardenclyffe Tower thing. EVDebs (talk) 21:44, 8 February 2012 (UTC)