TitleWhy we need more basic biology research, not less.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBotstein, D
JournalMol Biol Cell
Date Published2012 Nov
KeywordsBiology, Biotechnology, Humans, Molecular Sequence Annotation, Research, Translational Medical Research

Much of the spectacular progress in biomedical science over the last half-century is the direct consequence of the work of thousands of basic scientists whose primary goal was understanding of the fundamental working of living things. Despite this, many politicians, funders, and even scientists have come to believe that the pace of successful applications to medical diagnosis and therapy is limited by our willingness to focus directly on human health, rather than a continuing deficit of understanding. By this theory, curiosity-driven research, aimed at understanding, is no longer important or even useful. What is advocated instead is "translational" research aimed directly at treating disease. I believe this idea to be deeply mistaken. Recent history suggests instead that what we have learned in the last 50 years is only the beginning. The way forward is to invest more in basic science, not less.

Alternate JournalMol. Biol. Cell