I sometimes wonder at the short-sightedness of people. The sort of people who scoff and scorn at the far-sighted work which most of my work colleagues and I have dedicated a good deal of our lives to pursue, largely voluntarily.
They may argue: We have such and such a problem NOW, how are we going to SOLVE this? How are we to SOLVE that? Whether it be mental health, the NHS, homelessness, our economic policy, etc, to be fair they have an argument - these matters should indeed be addressed NOW and should definitely NOT be IGNORED.
But what happens when we remove the VISIONARIES from the equation? Let us take GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE for example. This was a concern as early as the '90s if not before and visionaries were highlighting the potential disastrous CONSEQUENCES then. Were they listened to? Did politicians take the drastic measures which they were propounding to avert DISASTER? Not at all - these visionaries were largely if not totally ignored and the evidence today is in the massive extremes in climatic conditions we are currently experiencing across the globe.
So I guess my argument is don't knock the visionaries in science. They have something very valuable to contribute to humanity and they give us a long term goal which is SO IMPORTANT to me, to you, to everyone.