Dependence of science on military research funding
Following the end of the Cold War, scientists in many fields have been faced with termination of projects in defence-related fields, or the sharp reduction of funding. Because much research in universities, notably in the USA, was directly or indirectly funded from defence budgets, the consequence has been a sharp decline in university research and the acceptance of doctoral candidates. It has been argued that this will result in less open-ended research essential to the pursuit of unusual ideas from which many major innovations have emerged. The emerging trend towards focused research has resulted in increased spending on technological applications at the expense of basic scientific research. As a result many scientists have become unemployed or have had to seek employment outside their field.
There is a need to maximize the return on the public's investment in science and technology and to ensure that government funds are used efficiently and appropriately.