This video was the winner in the 2013 FASEB competition for "Stand Up for Science." The title was "Funding Basic Science to Revolutionize Medicine."
I'm sure their hearts are in the right place but I fear that videos like this are really just contributing to the problem. It makes the case that basic research should be funded because ultimately it will pay off in technologies to improve human health. If you buy into that logic then it's hard to see why you should fund research on black holes or studies of plate tectonics.
Don't we have a duty to stand up for ALL basic research and not just research that may become relevant to medicine? Besides, if the only important basic research that deserves funding is that which has the potential to contribute to medicine, then shouldn't funding be directed toward the kind of "basic research" that's most likely to pay off in the future? Is that what we want? I don't think evolutionary biologists would be happy but everyone working with cancer cells will be happy.
The best argument for basic research, in my opinion, is that it contributes to our knowledge of the natural world and knowledge is always better than ignorance. This argument works for black holes, music theory, and for research on the history of ancient India. We should not be promoting arguments that only apply to our kind of biological research to the exclusion of other kinds of basic research. And we should not be using arguments that reinforce the widespread belief that basic research is only valuable if it leads to something useful.