People have very specific and stylized ideas about what 'realism' is.
Used to be we occasionally had characters who wanted to find things out just because finding things out was fun. The. "For science!" sort.
Those aren't allowed any more, if you're to be considered Mature and Realistic. Which is odd if you think about it and look up just how many people are willing to undergo personal hardship and strain and forego material wealth just to get in a position where they can spend their lives (a) figuring things out and (b) teaching people.
Nowadays anyone who 'just wants to figure things out' has to be an omnicidal maniac who would rather destroy the world than admit that his theory is inaccurate. Or has some screaming demonic NEED FOR CONTROL!!! Which is even more ridiculous.
Since if you actually look at, you know, the actual real life behavior of people who spend their time trying to figure things out, the ones who aren't in the vast majority of folks who just want to know things can be divided into two camps:
Those who want to be famous and make money in fairly venal means like, you know, most other people who do bad things and those who …also want to know things and figure stuff out and are willing to cheat to get tenure under Publish or Perish.