Studies in basic science, where questions may be asked and answered out of sheer interest, has been the hallmark of universities for a long time. This kind of research, where curiosity and the longterm perspective are the guiding principles, has resulted in an unprecedented body of knowledge, all the way from the smallest building blocks of matter to ourselves and the entire universe that we live in. In fact, most of the really significant breakthroughs in technology have once sprung from the mind of a researcher trying to understand how nature works. To quote the famous Louis Pasteur, who made significant scientific contributions affecting our lifestyle, "Dans les champs de l'observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés", or freely translated "Chance favors the prepared mind". Therefore, in order for us to meet the challenges of the 21st century, we need a strong profile in basic scientific research, or the next scientific, medical, or technological breakthrough might pass us by.