When listening to Avi Loeb’s interview, I thought that his idea that blue skies research is much more powerful than practical research was very interesting. It’s something I’ve heard before, but I hadn’t really thought about it in a long time, as I am dedicating myself to the more practical side of things (engineering). I think it makes a lot of sense if we look at it from a longer timeframe, or the returns that a certain line of research will give us from now to an indefinite future. While in the next 5, 10 or even 20 years, most of the changes we will see will come from practical research, blue skies research will provide much more powerful changes in a longer timeframe, such as 50 years in the future. For this comparison, I am considering research that is going on right now and their impact – Tesla’s self-driving cars vs research in the LHC, for example. It makes even more sense if we think about the prejudice that everything that applies to the past will also apply to the future. Practical research in general tries to use the scientific principles we already have to solve a certain problem, while blue skies research is more focused on finding new principles or confirming the ones we already have. Thus, it is blue skies research that allows for us to have the huge paradigm shifts that allow us to develop GPS tech, for example. It’s just a shame that most blue skies researchers likely won’t see the full repercussions of their findings during their lifetime.