Science for its Own Sake
This year's Reith Lecturer is the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh Sir Edward Appleton. From 1939 to 1949 he was Secretary of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, and in 1947 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his contributions to the knowledge of the ionosphere, which led to the development of radar. In his Reith series entitled 'Science and the Nation', he considers the importance of science.
In his third lecture entitled 'Science for its Own Sake', Professor Appleton considers the intellectual interest of science. He explores how pure science can create knowledge that gives intellectual pleasure. He details some of these joys, derived from both research and scientific theory.