My emphasis upon the gap between the practical problems assigned to the sociologist and the state of his accumulated knowledge and skills does not mean of course, that the sociologist should not seek to develop increasingly comprehensive theory or should not work on research directly relevant to urgent practical problems.  Most of all, it does not mean that sociologists should deliberately seek out the pragmatically trivial problems (1968, p. 50).

At any given moment, men of science are close to the solutions of some problems and remote from others.  It must be remembered that necessity is only the mother of invention; socially accumulated knowledge is its father.  Unless the two are brought together, necessity remains infertile.  She may of course conceive at some future time when she is properly mated.  But the mate requires time (and sustenance) if he is to attain the size and vigor needed to meet the demands that will be made upon him (1968, p. 50).