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Is Science Useful?

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It can be difficult to answer the question of whether or not science is valuable. Scientists are frequently incentivised to pursue their interests but this can lead to research focusing on a variety of subjects — some of which 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 in the development of new technologies, like medical devices, pharmaceuticals and renewable energy.

To be considered valuable science must also address problems and issues affecting the human condition. This requires collaboration with stakeholders in order to determine their needs, set clear goals and create a plan that addresses these requirements. Many scientific initiatives are lacking this type of collaboration, and instead focus on developing knowledge with no direct connection to society. Furthermore the effects of research are usually not measured and tracked effectively.

Several strategies have been developed to create usable science that are useful, including translational ecology (TE), which emphasizes the need for researchers to actively consider and respond to the research context. TE emphasizes the importance of involving end users in a meaningful way throughout the research process, and encouraging learning-based decision-making processes like adaptive management.

Finding a topic that is both intriguing and scholarly may be a challenge for students, particularly given the time limitations that are often imposed by professors. The list of simple science research topics can help students choose topics that will impress their professors and also contribute valuable information to the scientific community.

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