Money is a major issue, and thats just about it. Where ever the money goes is where the research will go. There is no denying that because if it wasn’t this way researchers/scientist would make important discoveries more often. They are being held back because of little or no funding, and that comes from scientist not being able to sell the idea to investors. Performing decade long researches or experiments is expensive and they can cost millions depending on the area of concern, i think the most expensive would probably be AIDS, Cancer and Stem-cell research.
There is also the idea that the government doesn’t want certain things being researched. They want to keep their focuses on medicine and military defense systems to keep the country strong because, of course a weak nation = weak money.
The Power of Knowledge:
What do you plan on doing when you finally gain your doctorate in your preferred field? Most likely you will put your efforts towards the money and not what you know. 9 times out of 10 you will go work for the company that will pay you the most but use your brain the least. If every college grad actually uses the information they were taught in grad school the money would come to them.