Who finances pure mathematics research?
Why fund pure math research?
I do not believe that there is "no choice" but to be funded by public organizations. I think what you were saying is that it is difficult to make a profit in a reasonable time frame.
However, many private organizations, including MIT, CalTech, Harvard, etc., do math research. Private universities can easily do pure research on any desired topic, tempered by the demands of academics, students, and donors.
Furthermore, there is no reason why other organizations could not donate to pure math research as well. This can be anything from a Kickstarter campaign to a company (maybe a tech company?) Looking for creative ways to market yourself. It could also be some billionaires looking to invest in something new, innovative, and nerdy - just as so many of them have put money into space and energy purposes. Charities could also be set up to obtain grants for mathematicians (like a much larger Fields Medal or a MacArthur grant exclusively for mathematicians).
If anything, the government is least apt and least interested in funding mathematics. The only difference is that a government has one source of funding. But the politicians who spend money are not particularly interested in funding mathematicians because that won't win a significant number of votes - but wasteful spending loses votes, as are cuts in welfare, nutrition programs, education, etc. Math kicks in with government spending into the background because this is not a very popular priority with voters.
I don't think the problem is that it just has to be done by the public. The problem is, most people think that there are much more pressing priorities for money. Millionaire nerds and freaks focus on things like space travel. Charities focus on disease and nutrition. Countless activists work in the environment, energy, microfinance, and other non-profit areas.
The lack of support for pure mathematical research is not a failure of the institutions to plan ahead. It is the success of institutions to obey the aggregated decisions of the public. If only a small number of people are interested in a particular social goal, it makes sense that that social goal should only receive a small amount of funding. It is up to mathematicians and other groups in a similar situation to convince people that their social goal (i.e. pure math) makes sense enough to be funded. If I were, I would focus on getting a big foundation from someone like Zuckerberg or Musk, rather than from Congress.
- Doctors drop babies
- Which HYIP systems are legitimate
- What is a software license
- Unicef actually helps people in poverty
- How many US soldiers died in World War II
- Technology actually improves education
- What is Affiliate Marketing 4
- How safe is our food industry
- How would you plan the perfect murder
- Is thrash metal satanic
- Why will we die without the sun
- How does nature control human society
- What is the scope of a career in tourism
- What are the layers of the earth
- Is existence physically metaphysical or both
- What does silent thinking mean
- Is high school something like real life?
- What is your aha moment in your work
- Is It Safe To Take Protein Supplements?
- Is Quora Blogging Better Than Google Blogging
- What does archetypal mean
- Why are you applying on Quora
- Life is boring without travel
- Why do people become cruel