Research is the process by which we seek the solution to a problem or the answer to something that we do not know in a systematic way. In this sense, research is the fruit of human curiosity, of the need to know and explain nature. Importance of research in our society
The importance of research lies in the fact that it has been a key instrument for the progress of humanity.
We must bear in mind that research is not limited to science, all areas of knowledge are the object of constant investigation. In this way progress is achieved. Thus we have that in economics, education, law, and even in art, research stimulates the development of the professional heritage.
Importance of research in our society
In general, any investigation has the following functions:
We do research to find out more. The greatest usefulness of research we can say is the production of new knowledge over the existing one. Knowledge, then, is dynamic and growing.
Let’s imagine that since 1900 no research had been done, how would we live in the 21st century? We would still ride in wagons, infant mortality would be enormous, we would die from tuberculosis and measles, we would not have television and much less the Internet. Importance of research in our society
Know the truth
Doubt and disagreement are the great promoters of many investigations. The knowledge of the truth, of how nature works, of how to explain our reality is largely the product of researchers dedicated to satisfying their questions.
From the investigations of Lynn Margullis (1938-2011) the endosymbiotic theory could be established as the origin of eukaryotic cells. She showed evidence that prokaryotic organisms established symbiotic relationships and from there arose eukaryotic algae and plants.
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the sun and other stars. This fact was discovered by Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (1900-1979) in her astronomical research. Importance of research in our society
Improve Life Quality
Electricity is essential in our daily routines. Less than 300 years ago it was a phenomenon unknown to most of the population. Starting with Benjamin Franklin’s famous experience of the lightning bolt and kite, going through the invention of the light bulb by Thomas Edison and the creation of electric generators, it is unthinkable to be able to live in our modern societies without electricity.
The investigation in this case is based on investigating what the past was like and the events that led us to the present moment.
For example, the disappearance of the Mayan civilization is one of the greatest mysteries in history. Through archaeological searches, several theories have been proposed to explain what happened to the Mayan population hundreds of years ago. Importance of research in our society
Many times we have made mistakes due to lack of research. One of the most regrettable recent cases is that of thalidomide. Due to lack of research on the effects of this drug on fetal development, thalidomide was prescribed to pregnant women between 1956 and 1962 to reduce the discomforts of pregnancy.
Shortly thereafter, the use of thalidomide during pregnancy was found to affect arm and leg development in children. Thanks to this event, drug research on fetal growth became mandatory before its commercialization.
Favor the progress of humanity
Humanity has benefited enormously from research work, mainly in the area of health and hygiene.
Jonas Salk (1914-1995) was the doctor and researcher who discovered the vaccine against polio, a disease produced by a virus. In 1951, Salk injected dead polio viruses into volunteers, eliminating the danger of the person being infected. This vaccine stimulated the immune system to produce protective proteins, called antibodies. Importance of research in our society
A few years later, the research of Albert Sabin (1906-1993) led to the production of a polio vaccine that was not only cheaper to produce but could also be administered by mouth. Thanks to these two great researchers, in 1994 the World Health Organization decreed the eradication of polio in the Western Hemisphere.
Contrary to what many believe, discoveries and inventions do not happen out of nowhere. Behind every invention or discovery there is a conscious search, in order to find improvements.
For example, bacteria defend themselves against viruses using small pieces of DNA called CRISPR. The discovery of the defense mechanisms of bacteria against viruses has led to the development of DNA editing techniques, known as CRISPR / Cas9. This technique has great potential in curing genetic diseases, cancer prevention and resistance against plant pests.
Why is research important?
There are many reasons why research, in any area of human endeavor, is important. Let’s see some.
Fight misinformation and lack of information
Sometimes they give us false or misrepresented information, intentionally or not. If we are not aware that the information is incorrect, we may accept it right away. If in doubt, we must confirm this information in other sources. Importance of research in our society
It can also happen that there is no information about what we are interested in. Then, through research, we will be able to investigate and produce new information, which later someone else can corroborate in the future.
Stimulates critical thinking
When we are presented with a problem, we must have an open mind and receptive to all kinds of information. However, not all the information is correct or available. When we learn to investigate, we also learn to think and develop our critical spirit . These are skills that we must reinforce, especially in this age of information bombardment through social media.
Usefulness and development of knowledge
When we investigate, we seek deep down a profit, an advance in our knowledge. For example, in education, research is carried out that seeks to improve the ability of students to learn and develop new learning techniques. Importance of research in our society
In marketing, research techniques are used in order to study the consumer public and get more customers for a certain product. Data mining, a recent field of research, is based on studying the data generated by different human activities, with the intention of influencing human behavior.
Understanding, prediction and prevention
When investigating a phenomenon, we seek to understand its roots and try to manipulate it to our advantage. Human beings have been learning to establish connections between events and to discover the practical importance of being able to make predictions about the future behavior of things.
Mario Molina, the first Mexican to win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, in 1974 showed that the ozone layer in the atmosphere was being affected by chlorofluorocarbons. This layer works as a barrier against harmful ultraviolet rays. Thanks to their research, a global agreement was reached to prevent the increase in the ozone layer gap.
When we do research on matters that affect us, we have a better basis for making decisions. For example, if we like journalism, the most reasonable thing is to investigate which is the best university in this area, in what specialty we would like to train, or if there is any other career that would suit us better. Importance of research in our society
Importance of scientific research
Science is, essentially, systematic and correctable knowledge of nature, man and society. It is the result of a collective work of acquisition, accumulation and use of this knowledge. In the words of Mario Bunge, physicist and science researcher:
“Scientific research begins at the very place where ordinary experience and knowledge cease to solve problems or even pose them.”
We live in a world that depends on science and technology. A fundamental moment of scientific research is the definition and delimitation of the problem and the development of conjectures, hypotheses or anticipations of meaning around it.
Diagnosis and treatment of diseases
Science needs research to study the mechanisms by which diseases occur, and the means to combat or prevent them. Thanks to discoveries in physics, diseases can be diagnosed with the use of X-rays and nuclear magnetic resonance. Importance of research in our society
Plastics and synthetic fibers are the product of scientific research in chemistry.
Importance of technological research
Technology also benefits from research. Solar panels and wind turbines would not be necessary without basic research on the deterioration of the environment due to the indiscriminate use of fossil fuels.
We know that atmospheric carbon dioxide has a major impact on global warming. Technologies for its capture and sequestration are currently being investigated in order to reduce its effect as a greenhouse gas.
However, more research is urgently required to produce technological options that allow sustainable economic development, preventing climate change.
Importance of research in everyday life
Day-to-day problems share something in common with scientific problems: the need to find solutions to difficult situations . As such, everyday problems benefit from the application of the scientific method. Importance of research in our society
Although we may not realize it, we regularly conduct investigations in our work. Recognizing a problem is the first step in solving it. Once we have recognized that there is a problem, observation is required to find a solution.
We can obtain information from different sources: books, past experience, Internet search, personal communications.
Meet our pets
If we want to have a pet, such as a dog or a cat, the first thing we must do is investigate everything about it. It is very important to know about their breed, their behavior, the foods they can or cannot eat, among others. For example, researching about the foods that dogs cannot consume, we realize that chocolate, onion and garlic are toxic for them.
Impact of the microwave on food
There is some concern in the popular imagination that microwave cooking is unhealthy. When we dig deeper into that problem, we find that microwave cooking is not only faster, but also better preserves nutrients. Importance of research in our society