Why in the world are we paying for all this "basic" research? The answer to this question becomes clear in this romp through the "seemingly useless" world of pure science, where one thing leads to another in ways that result in major scientific advancements. With a novelistic style, C. Renee James reveals how obscure studies of natural phenomena - including curved space-time, poisonous cone snails, exploding black holes, and the precise chemical makeup of the sun-led unexpectedly to WiFi, GPS, genetic sequencing, pain medications, and cancer treatments. Science Unshackled brings both science and scientists to life and shows how simple curiosity can result in life-changing breakthroughs. Scientists engaged in basic research, funded in large part by governments around the globe and throughout the centuries, never know when exploring small questions will have big impacts. But, by following the scientific method, disciplined inquiry can lead to wondrous and practical discoveries that benefit all of us in the end. The next time someone asks you why "the government" wastes its money on weird research, recall the intriguing stories James has told and tell them the answer.