Importance of Research Work for Future of Science

Any invention or discovery that the world has benefitted from has been achieved after sustained research, some of them lasting for years. Go back centuries to the “Eureka” moment or Galileo’s intense peering into outer space to discover galaxies and stars and you can easily understand how vital patience is, how vital perseverance is, how vital research is.

Nowhere is this more manifest than the annual Nobel awards. When they are announced in Physics, or Chemistry or Medical Sciences, we are left amazed at the details that follow about the work done by scientists from all over the world. A discovery might take decades to see the light of day and years and years of interpolation of data to confirm that what is being put out finally is supported by empirical evidence. After all, there cannot be anything vague about science; everything about it must be well documented and researched. For example, when consultants in companies for labour hire in Melbourne interview scientists to fill up vacancies for their clients, experience in scientific research is given a lot of importance.  

It is more so in medical science which follows a painstaking research process. This is because any discovery or new drug or new medical equipment will ultimately be used on human beings and hence a layer of extra precaution is required. Once a compound is discovered that helps in the cure of certain diseases research is carried out on animals, mainly mice. This stage might take years again before any positive conclusion is arrived at. After that trials are carried out on human beings, mainly volunteers, afflicted with illness and waiting for a medical cure. This study might go on for years again and after intense research the drug is announced to the world. However, its commercial launch will be subject to approval from the regulatory bodies that carry out their own research before certifying it safe for human consumption.

However, there is no certainty that years of research cannot go wrong. Take the case of Space Shuttle Challenger which broke apart seconds after launch on September 28, 1986. Two payload scientists and 5 NASA astronauts were instantly killed. It would be wrong to say that it was a case of inadequate research by NASA. Even the best of intentions by Man can go horribly off mark. However, on the flip side, this accident doubled research efforts to build a failsafe Space Shuttle with more in-built safety features.

There are many fields where in-depth research is done not for the betterment of mankind but for its destruction. How else can you explain Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the terrible napalm bombs of the USA that scorched the souls of the Vietcong or the devastating chemical weapons that cause mass destruction? Each type was built after thorough research by top scientists in the field. It is often argued that such weapons have deterrent value but the world has seen that in the hands of despots they inflict a great deal of harm on mankind.

The importance of research in the future of science cannot be challenged or disputed – but only if it brings a smile to the face and a twinkle to the eye.