Question: How do libertarians feel about publicly funded scientific research?
I work in science (chemistry) in the US. My research relies on federally funded research grants. Scientific research, particularly in the physical and medical sciences, is absurdly expensive. We’re talking millions of dollars every few years for one or a few research labs.
I’m kind of torn on this issue. On the one hand, I know first hand how important publicly funded scientific research is. Without public funds, many important research questions would not be pursued because they would not be immediately profitable.
On the other hand, part of the reason science is so expensive is because of publicly funded research. For example, companies that make research instruments or research grade chemicals can charge absurd prices because the government is paying for it.
Of course there are checks and balances, like having to show tangible results and practical applications in order to continue to receive funding. But I’m asking a more fundamental question:
What is more important? Publicly funding important science at inflated costs, or foregoing research that would benefit people in favor of the free market?
Article from r/Libertarian: For a Free Society