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Making Research Public, Essay Example

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Essay

The results of any research should be communicated at the level of the general public, even if the research area is highly technical. It is not always an easy task to explain complex stuff in simple language but the potential benefits are worth it. If the general public understands certain controversial issues better, it will take more logical positions and force the elected officials to do the right thing . One of the reasons why global warming continues to be a controversial topic in the public arena despite almost unanimous consensus in the scientific community is because the general public doesn’t understand it well. Studies after studies support the notion of global warming yet the language is too complex for most people to grasp the evidence.

The government funds a great deal of research activities in the public interest through grants and it would not be possible with taxes paid by ordinary citizens. Thus, it is only right to make efforts to communicate the results of research studies in a language an average person can understand. It would provide assurance to the citizens that their tax dollars are being spent wisely and it may even increase public support for research activities.

The technical language of a research study is not sometimes understood by the reader because he lacks education but because his/her area of expertise may be different. For example, a technical paper on stem cell may not be easily understood by a computer programmer. If history has taught us one thing, it is that no one can predict all the potential applications of a research study or technology, not even the authors of the study or the inventors of the technology. Internet was first developed by the U.S. military yet U.S. military could never have predicted all the resulting innovation. The findings of a research study sometimes have huge potential in unrelated fields and communicating the results in the language understood by the general public may ignite a huge spark of innovation.

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