...to be an efficient and effective way to get basic research done.
basic research is inherently very inefficient - in a naive sense, it is a random walk through a very lumpy landscape full of local minima, and some very very steep hills. like evolution, it takes a long time, and wastes a lot of resources along the way. just like universities. however, universities do several other things
- a spot of higher education
- creating communities
- offering advanced advice to governments and industry
- curating the next world class comedy teams
- keeping social misfits busy & off the streets
- etc etc