The creators of R provided a flexible and powerful foundation for statistical computing; then made it free and open so that it could be improved collaboratively and its benefits could be shared by the widest possible audience.
It’s better for everyone if the tools used for research and science are free and open. There are many benefits to free software in science: improved reproducibility, wider sharing of knowledge and techniques, and elimination of cost barriers to create a more level playing field, to name just a few.
R users are doing some of the most innovative and important work in science, education, and industry. It’s a daily inspiration and challenge to keep up with the community and all it is accomplishing.