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Pure research, basic research, or fundamental research is research carried out to increase understanding of fundamental principles. It is not intended to yield immediate commercial benefits; pure research can be thought of as arising out of curiosity. However, in the long term it is the basis for many commercial products and applied research. Pure research is mainly carried out by universities.
Pure research advances fundamental knowledge about the human world. It focuses on refuting or supporting theories that explain how this world operates, what makes things happen, why social relations are a certain way, and why society changes. Pure research is the source of most new scientific ideas and ways of thinking about the world. It can be exploratory, descriptive, or explanatory; however, explanatory research is the most common.Template:Examples
Pure research generates new ideas, principles and theories, which may not be immediately utilized; though are the foundations of modern progress and development in different fields. Today's computers could not exist without the pure research in mathematics conducted over a century ago, for which there was no known practical application at that time. Pure research rarely helps practitioners directly with their everyday concerns. Nevertheless, it stimulates new ways of thinking about deviance that have the potential to revolutionize and dramatically improve how practitioners deal with a problem.
A new idea or fundamental knowledge is not generated only by pure research, but pure research can build new knowledge. In any case, pure research is essential for nourishing the expansion of knowledge. Researchers at the center of the scientific community conduct most of what is pure research.
Template:Out of date In the USA, the National Science Foundation was created after WW2 to sponsor pure research. Its creation was delayed by political opposition and other federal agencies with specific missions were specifically empowered to sponsor pure research too. In 1956, the pure research budgets included:
- ↑ Hugh Davis Graham, Nancy A. Diamond, The rise of American research universities, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=e-yeBo6p-_gC&pg=PA32
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