Is Science Useful?

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The question of whether science is valuable or not is difficult to answer. Scientists are often incentivised to pursue their interests however, this can lead to research focused on a variety of topics -however, some of these may not be directly useful to society. For instance, an important part of science is creating theories and making predictions that can be tested. These discoveries are often used in the development of new technologies, like drugs, medical devices and renewable energy sources.

To be of value science must also be able to address issues and challenges that affect human well-being. This requires collaboration with key stakeholders in order to identify their needs, define specific goals and then create plans that address the requirements. Many scientific projects lack this collaboration, and instead concentrate on expanding knowledge that has no direct connection to society. The impact of research on society is not always measured and tracked effectively.

Translational ecology (TE) is one of the strategies that have been devised to produce usable science. It stresses the importance of scientists actively considering and responding to the research context. TE also stresses the importance of engaging the end users in a meaningful manner throughout the research process and encourages learning-based decision making processes like adaptive management which is widely used by natural land and resource managers.

Students often have a difficult time to select a topic that is both interesting as and scholarly, particularly when professors place time constraints on their students. The list of basic science research topics can help students choose a topic to impress their professors and also contribute valuable information to the scientific community.

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