Some people think research or science is the only path to a better society but in all honesty it may just take paying people in a poor country to plant trees.
That said, research is seriously underfunded.
"When I was a little boy, I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised, the Lord, in his wisdom, doesn't work that way. So I just stole one and asked Him to forgive me."
Sometimes to get what you want you have to sell out or otherwise find an unorthodox means to your desired end state.
The list is extremely partial. I'd be much happier seeing other contributions to it than sniping about significance.