Some of the dishes that make up the Square Kilometre Array’s radio telescope system. This kind of “blue skies” research can have great real-world value. MUJAHID SAFODIEN/AFP via Getty Images May 26, 2021 COVID-19 budget pressures threaten curiosity-driven science. That’s a bad thing Vanessa McBride, International Astronomical Union's Office of Astronomy for Development The pandemic has underscored that the world requires agility for survival. That makes blue skies science, which encourages curiosity and nimble thinking, perhaps more important than ever.