Why There’s No Such Thing As ‘Useless Knowledge’
We live in a utilitarian society, which values practical application over inherent value.
Society has not exempted even scientific knowledge, the gateway to progress, from the harsh scrutiny of utility.
Research grants do not encourage ‘pure science’, which aims to unearth unknown and valuable theories as an intellectual quest borne out of curiosity.
Abraham Flexner, the late American educator, In his 1939 essay, “The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge”, says Marconi could not have invented the radio without the ‘useless’ knowledge revealed by Clerk Maxwell and Heinrich Hertz:
“Who were the useful men? Not Marconi, but Clerk Maxwell and Heinrich Hertz. Hertz and Maxwell were geniuses without thought of use. Marconi was a clever inventor with no thought but use.”
Let’s encourage children to pursue knowledge for its sake; practical uses will unravel later.