Is Science Useful?

It isn’t easy to answer whether or not science is valuable. Scientists are frequently incentivised to pursue their interests however, this can result in research focusing on a wide range of subjects -however, some of these may not be beneficial to society. For instance, a major part of science is establishing theories and making predictions that can be testable. These discoveries are often used to develop new technologies, like drugs, medical devices and renewable energy.

To be considered beneficial science must also tackle problems and issues affecting the human condition. This requires collaboration with stakeholders to define their needs, define clear goals and develop a plan that addresses these requirements. Today, many research initiatives do not have this collaboration and focus on expanding knowledge without having a direct connection to society. Moreover the impact of research is usually not measured and tracked in an effective manner.

Translational ecology (TE) is one of the many strategies that have been developed to produce useful science. It emphasizes the importance of scientists being proactive in taking note of and responding to the research context. TE emphasizes the importance of engaging the users in a meaningful way throughout the research process and promoting decision-making based on learning like adaptive management, which is commonly employed by natural land and resource managers.

Students are often faced with the challenge to choose a topic that is both interesting as well as scholarly, especially when their professors set time limits. This is where the list of research topics in science comes in handy for students to find a topic that will help them earn the approval of their professors while providing valuable information to the scientific community.


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