The Importance of Research

Why is research important? This is a question I never thought to ponder until reading the first chapter of A Manual for Writers by Kate L. Turabian.  In the chapter, she states that research reports must include facts that others accept to be truth.  I realized that research is important because it showcases a variety of information (statistics, experiments, primary sources) that are more likely to be unbiased truth, than say, a generalized report whose results only showcase things that will benefit the writer/company who uses it.  Research gathers information from different, reliable sources which will altogether prove a point.  If people didn’t research, there would be no way to determine a definite truthful answer.

I believe that John Newman would strongly support research in a university, because I believe that in some ways, research is the search for truth.  Newman states,” Truth, a subtle, invisible, manifold spirit, is poured into the mind of the scholar by his eyes and ears, through his affections, imagination, and reason; it is poured into his mind and is sealed up there is perpetuity, by propounding and repeating it, by questioning and requestioning, by correcting and explaining, by progressing and then recurring to first principles, by all those ways which are implied in the word “catechizing.”*  I believe that much of the actions Newman describes with truth is also found in research (“propounding and repeating…questioning and requestioning…correcting and explaining… progressing.”)  Research allows students to seek truth and learn throughout the process.

When thinking about the importance of research, TED Talks came to mind.  TED stands for Technology, Education, and Design, and is a company that holds conferences all around the world where people can introduce new innovations and ideas.  They often also present a call to action after revealing their information.  TED Talks almost always use some form of research to support their claims, and many talks stem from research findings.  I think that John Newman would love the idea of TED Talks, as it allows people from all across the globe to come together and discuss new findings (Many talks are published online as well).

Here are a few of my favorite TED Talks that show the importance of research:

This is a 15-year-old named Jack Andraka who found a new way to diagnose cancer based on his own research.

Shawn Achor is a hilarious speaker who presents his research findings on how happiness really works.

This is an extremely popular TED Talk by Brene Brown who presents her research on what people must do to really connect with others.

*Quotation from http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/newman/newman-university.html

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