I could make a strong case that the majority of major advances in basic science were made during the "gentleman academic" era.
Publicly-funded research institutions start to become prominent around the Great War, and their relevance is increasingly challenged (see: the replication crisis).
Basic research is more important than the means by which it is funded.
OTOH, I'll stick by my claim that 'basic research' done by privates -- (Bell notwithstanding ... e.g. Jansky was looking to solve a -private- problem, not discover radioastronomy) and especially nowadays -- is much likelier to have a particular pecuniary bias. So, not so 'basic'. Unlike, say, NASA.