Sometimes scientists come up with stuff that is worth every penny they spend on research. However, a heck of a lot of the time, scientific discovery is only worth the money to those who consider knowledge for the sake of knowledge to be vastly more worthy of funding than the preservation and enriching of human life. In my opinion, at the top of the list of colossal money-wasting scientific projects is the search for extraterrestrial life. The chances of there being anything more than a microbe elsewhere in the universe is extremely slim and if we were to find "intelligent" life out there the probability will be that is so far away that the length of time it would take to send and receive a message from it would make the discovery valueless.
So, why are scientists so attached to this illogical pursuit?
My guess is that they do not want their foundation myth to be proved false. Because of the Christian Church's cruel treatment of post-Renaissance natural philosophers who claimed that the earth was not the centre of the universe, scientists are, on the whole, fervently atheistic and firmly attached to the premise that the earth is of no special status within the cosmos. The discovery of clever aliens, scientists believe would prove the earth's insignificance and make the Christian story untenable. On the other hand, acceptance that we are, for all intents and purposes, alone, would put the earth right back into the centre of all things and make it the most important rock in the whole universe. It would also make intelligent design a far more reasonable proposition than that the earth and its inhabitants are accidental. This is the last thing most scientists want and so they continue to demand that a vast amount of money is spent on space projects which have the main purpose of trying to prove they have been right all along.
Personally, I would prefer a cure for cancer, an end to hunger and the spending of a lot more money and time on keeping the only place in the universe where we know there is life, a place that can sustain life.