Scientific Freedom: The Elixir of Civilization

Donald W. Braben

So rich was the scientific harvest of the early 20th century that it transformed entire industries and economies. But in the 1970s, increases in public funding for scientific research brought demands that spending be justified; a system of peer review that selected only the research proposals promising the greatest returns; and a push for endless short-term miracles instead of in-depth, boundary-pushing research.

In Scientific Freedom, first published in 2008, Donald W. Braben presents a revolutionary and tested framework to find and support cutting-edge, much-needed scientific innovation. Support for such research can be low risk and offer rich rewards, Braben argues, but it requires rethinking the processes used to discover and sponsor scientists with groundbreaking ideas—and then giving those innovators the freedom to explore.