Sources: Arxiv [Printserver; CERN], BBC News
quote: The research is for the benefit of everyone if it gets results. If people thought like you when rockets were still around "who needs to put metal in space, what is metal anyways", then we wouldn't have any of this modern technology due to satellites or the ability to have things like very accurate, very up to date maps and navigation and so on.
quote: For all we know, their discoveries will lead to efficient quantum computers that some company will take the research and begin mass production. Computers with insane computational power that improve medical research so you can get a new limb that you lost being a dumbass.
quote: You can never know how useful this will be or what other field it will affect. Maybe better rocket engines, maybe more efficient fusion reactors that run more than 3 minutes and can actually be used for real, maybe better techniques to sculpt very small objects like circuits and nanomachines.
quote: Information is always useful.
quote: Tell me, do you think the whole research on Mars is useless? What if they find life? What if they find some way to grow things there and have a colony? What if in the meantime some smart ass comes up with a good rocket design and mars can be mined for minerals and colonized and we find all sorts of cool shit