A 1939 Essay Resonates Today

Advocating for Science for Science's Sake

Craig A. Tovey of Science Magazine reviews The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge (Princeton University Press, March 2017) by founding IAS Director Abraham Flexner with a companion essay by current IAS Director Robbert Dijkgraaf. The book, Tovey writes, "makes a strong case for science done for science's sake," reflecting on Flexner's advocacy for "unfettered inquiry that, paradoxically and unexpectedly, has often resulted in extraordinary utility." Dijkgraaf's essay, Tovey writes, "weaves Flexner’s personal story together with compelling new examples that support Flexner’s thesis," including the World Wide Web, GPS tracking, and advancements in medicine.

Read more at Science Magazine.