Is science generally in the search for truth, or the search for profit? This is an interesting question, and you really have to consider what science has meant to the world, and that for a long time there was no science. Even if science really was for the search of profit rather than the search for truth, the world is still much better for having science around. However, I would have to say that the search for truth, and the search for profit are intermingled.
Science is its purest form truly is for finding the truth about how things work out. We as humans want to be able to say without a doubt how things work. If there is even the slightest doubt about how something works, or reason to believe that we could be wrong, we will use science to update our knowledge. From the people of Ancient Greece who studied the stars, to Einstein who was the greatest man to ever live in the 20th century, we have used science to find the truth.
That truth though does lead to the serach for profit. When a drug company finds out how certain ingredients help to control a disease, they will hire scientists to continue to make better drugs. Drug companies spend millions to find newer drugs, or ways to make drugs more in demand. Cigarette companies use science to get smokers addicted to cigaretttes and also uses them in a PR battle to find a “safe” cigarette.
I don’t think Newton was trying to make any money though when that apple fell on his head. He was really trying to figure out why the planets rotated around the sun, and why that apple fell. I don’t think he was out to turn his ideas about gravity into a million dollar scheme to make money. Science back then was more of an alternative to the church, and was seen as something that people should be doing in order to find out how the Earth really works.
Can science be used to make a profit? Of course it can, but I don’t think science is really meant to be used for a profit. It just so happens that science can be used to make a profit when a scientist works for a company. If a scientist is being paid to produce a ceratin result, that can be dangerous. Science can be made to fit whatever particular theory you are trying to fit, just like anything else can be. Why else can a man claim that Chinese people found America in 1421?
Is science the pursuit of truth, or is the pursuit of profit? It most certainly is the pursuit of truth in its most basic form, and without science I don’t think we would be as advanced as we are. The pursuit of profit is just used by companies looking to exploit science to make some money for themselves. Don’t be too disillusioned, science is always going to look for the truth if we let it.