What is the meaning of the quote : "Scientific discovery and scientific knowledge have been achieved only by those who have gone in pursuit of it without any practical purpose whatsoever in view."

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ncchemist | eNotes Employee

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That quote is attributed to Max Planck, an eminent German physicist from the early 20th century.  This quote can basically be attributed to what he felt was the perversion of science for corporate or government purposes, namely greed and war.  The quote basically says that all worthwhile scientific research and discoveries are made in primarily academic environments where the research aims are pure and strictly for the sake of intellectual curiosity and adding to the general knowledge of a scientific discipline.  He felt that science performed with an agenda such as making money or killing enemies (practical purposes) is not true research.  Remember that he lived to see both World Wars and the destruction that resulted from scientific advances in warfare during that time.

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