Chemistry in the Economic Development of Nigeria

Oke, O. L. (1979-10-18)


It is possible to ascertain how much curiosity oriented research has contributed to the economic development of an industrialised country by identifying key discoveries with profitable applications and estimating the economic benefit if it was discovered later. We in the developing countries feel that science (especially chemistry) has contributed greatly to the economic development of the industrialised countries and so we assume that expansion of scientific research and teaching (as is done in these: countries) will automatically lead to wealth. We have failed to realise that the majority of these basic sciences derive most of their impetus and motivation from technologies, and also these industrialised countries with only 25% of the world's population have between 80-90% of the world's research power. If we therefore teach the basic sciences the way it is done in these countries without modification, and conduct similar research, it means our products will be more suitable for these countries than ours.