Well, science is now political, though I think it didn't used to be.
"Pure" research used to be funded by Government, but that was kinda defenestrated during the economic crises from the mid-'80s onwards. It all had to be "cost-effective", implying a commercial payback or rate of return within a reasonable time-frame - so that then was the "make or break" rule for the business case for a project to get funded.
I recall the DSIR (Department of Scientific and Industrial Research) in New Zealand - founded in 1926 - had most of its borderline projects canned when it was reconstituted into profit-driven "Crown Research Institutes" under the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992.
Whilst I could see the need for viability and cost-effectiveness, I reckoned this was a huge potential loss to society, because some of its research projects were in their infancy and had been quite imaginative and with potentially far-reaching benefits.
For example, as an environmentalist and whilst working in the energy sector (where I have done quite a bit of consulting work), one project that I was watching with interest was the research to make wood alcohol (ethanol) fuel as an additive to petrol, to reduce the national economic cost and dependency on imported fossil fuels. Potentially good for the environment and the balance of payments.
This research project was unceremoniously canned in its preliminary viability trials as the new profit-driven regime kicked in. Apparently not viable/cost-effective enough, though I was always skeptical of this as I never could get hold of any figures that proved this was the case. It was all "estimates". My bet is that it could have been so cost-effective (NZ has humungous stocks of pine forests - a national asset) that it scared the pants right off of the petroleum importers/suppliers, and so they maybe (say) lobbied Government appropriately, perhaps by agreeing to contain the rising cost of petrol over a predefined period (of years).
The DSIR research had also paved the way for a feasible national supply/distribution infrastructure to support CNG and LPG fuel conversions to vehicles, and fortunately this project had proved its viability and been implemented in the market, supported by financial incentives (subsidies) to convert, and before the CRI Act canned it.
The subsidies came off and the technology showed itself to still be viable and cost effective for high mileage vehicles. A lot of taxis and commercial vehicles use it now, for example, but it is definitely not cost-effective for domestic cars/mileage - even after increased petrol prices. Similarly for "hybrid"-powered cars.
I wish it were otherwise, but reality bites.
And I wish similar success to CNG/LPG could have been seen for the research into wind-powered generation of electricity in New Zealand, but it can't and so seems to have died a death. This is after a lot of risky implementation had gone ahead for proof-of-concept trials, funded by taxpayers (Government). It has proven neither viable nor cost-effective, and in New Zealand's primarily pastoral economy there has been a public backlash because the technology definitely despoils the extremely beautiful and formerly unspoiled environment (a national environmental asset), and apparently conservationists and ornithologists say it has decimated (or has the potential to decimate) some bird stocks including some of the rare ones (another national environmental asset). However, the official body-count for this has not been declared/published so I reckon it is probably true and we are not to be told because it is highly political.
I think these might be the same/similar reasons to the Governments in UK and Germany recently withdrawing the huge subsidies for wind-powered and solar-powered generation. Surprising in Germany, as they seemed to have committed themselves regardless of the cost, but I guess in the end the lack of viability/cost-effectiveness cannot be ignored or subsidised indefinitely by the taxpayer - especially when there's a serious economic crunch in progress.