I have just watched a short segment on Newsnight where Brian Cox rightfully gave Sir David King a well deserved spanking (to his face) for his recent comments.
King thinks that we should stop curiosity driven research and only look at solving specific problems in the world today. A reasonable argument at first glance with the difficulties that face us in the world.
But as Brian pointed out (and Sir Martin Reece pointed out in the Guardian) that argument could have been made at any point in history and we would be without much of the technological advances and knowledge that we have gained as a side product of curiosity driven science.
And on this day, actually, the day when for once physics is part of culture, and the headlines of every newspaper, every news broadcast in the world I don't think the President of the British Association of the Advancement of Science should be pouring cold water on that on this day of all daysVery well done Brian.