Henri Poincaré Quote
Scientists believe there is a hierarchy of facts and that among them may be made a judicious choice. They are right, since otherwise there would be no science... One need only open the eyes to see that the conquests of industry which have enriched so many practical men would never have seen the light, if these practical men alone had existed and if they had not been preceded by unselfish devotees who died poor, who never thought of utility, and yet had a guide far other than caprice.
As Mach says, these devotees have spared their successors the trouble of thinking.
Author's Essay Prefatory to the Translation: "The Choice of Facts," p.4 - The Value of Science (1905)