anon answered on 21 Jun 2017:
Some scientific investigations are purely to push the boundaries without any application in mind. Sometimes this is called “basic research” or “fundamental research”.
But the methods and results may well be used by others to make progress on applied problems.
I like working on applied problems so developing new analytical methods as required to solve a current problem. I like learning new things and helping people and animals at the same time. I wouldn’t say this is ‘more important’. I think it is important to have both basic and applied research projects.