• Question: How Is Your Work Going To Help Us Now And In The Future?

    Asked by shayejgg to Daniel, Phil, Derek, Upul, Ian on 21 Jun 2010 in Categories: . This question was also asked by riverprincess, kezzily, jonhart, 8erminerule, 08wildashj, taylortabagan, lewismeywes, clairejane, lizzie, lewiscain, christian, glitzyelisaxx, wrigleys, walkerb, serenaxxx.
    • Photo: Derek Mann

      Derek Mann answered on 16 Jun 2010:

      Hopefully my work will save lives by making people with liver disease get well again.

    • Photo: Daniel Mietchen

      Daniel Mietchen answered on 16 Jun 2010:

      This is too general a question to give a useful answer, much like how would your research benefit me?

      However, it is too interesting to be neglected entirely, so I would like to concentrate on the future aspect and take “Us” to mean the entire human society. From this perspective, I think it is fair to assume that most scientific ideas cross several independent minds before being published, such that there will generally be someone else to deliver that piece of research if you don’t do it yourself. This leads me to wage the hypothesis that the exact work a scientist does is less important to society than how the resulting findings can be integrated with existing knowledge. In this respect, the paper-based science communication channels that have been in use for centuries are grossly inefficient, and by working on increasing their efficiency (in my spare time), I could quite possibly end up making a contribution to the future that may well be more valuable to “Us” in the long run than the actual research I am undertaking (which is largely driven by curiosity rather than a concrete drive to help anything other than a better understanding of the world, even though research proposals are forced to pretend research is all plannable).

    • Photo: Upul Wijayantha

      Upul Wijayantha answered on 17 Jun 2010:

      I would like to think that my work will be used to build efficient and cheap solar cells and also provide clean generation of hydrogen fuel. So in the future we have clean reliable energy.

    • Photo: Ian Sillett

      Ian Sillett answered on 21 Jun 2010:

      My work helps the public now because it is already used to evaluate products. The benefits of the project have already been seen in real life. As for the future I don’t know. We try and follow the technology as it changes to make sure we stay relevant, but who knows what’s around the corner.