Bertrand Meyer nails it in his last CACM blog post in defense of Incremental Research.
Having done a PhD Thesis with the word “incremental” in its title, I’m of course always ready to champion the importance of incremental advances in any field.
In his post, Bertrand claims that funding agencies should stop asking us (researchers) to come up with breakthrough innovations in every project proposal and focus on doing research (if this research leads to an incremental advance in the state of the art good, if it ends up being a breakthrough even better).
Having to invent/justify why our proposal is so innovative only leads up to proposals written using the bullshit generator we mentioned in this previous post.
I could elaborate more on why I’m in favor of incremental research but Bertrand’s post does a great job so go and read it!