Those well meaning but deluded folk who believe that exploration should be an enterprise for scientists in expensive 4x4s might consider the following formula:
Where E= Exploration, D=Discovery and C=Challenge
When Challenge is 0, so is the Exploration value. You have Discovery only, the kind of thing that can happen in a laboratory.
One crucial aspect of exploration is challenge. Why? Because if there is no challenge, no frostbite, or thirst or getting lost then the discoveries made weren't earned. Without challenge it's just another video game and there are enough of those already. That's why a new way to get to the north pole counts as exploration- the challenge factor is high even if the discovery factor is low. Exploration is about seeing new things up close. Experiencing them at first hand. Challenge of a physical kind is needed to get you into the places where new things can be seen. It's so important that it's been raised to the power two...
If you doubt that some expedition has 'discovery' value then you are probably self-censoring. In fact there are always new things to discover as the world is always changing.
When you need to show that exploration has a scientific end, retort that it even has a mathematical basis these days!