The research and findings of the world's most intelligent people is not available to the general public, reports The Conversation. A complete academic journal article is "read completely by no more than ten people," according to academics Asit Biswas and Julian Kirchher.
Essentially this means that some of the world's most significant findings, findings that could be applied to real-world problems, are being ignored. Why is this information not made more available to the general population?
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According to Dr. Savo Heleta of The Conversation, one of the most prominent reasons appears to be that many scholars believe it is not their job to write for the public. Their research involves very complex theories and ideas, and they feel they shouldn't have to find a way to explain them to people who are not trained to understand them.
The other issue is that most universities don't offer any rewards or incentives for academics to publish outside of peer-reviewed journals. There is no encouragement to share with the public, giving the impression that academic research is not valued by people outside the intellectual community.
Finally, even if scholars wanted to share their findings on a broad spectrum, many of them don't have the skills to write for an audience outside academia. There is typically a lot of jargon involved in these articles, and expressing these ideas without the use of terms that have become second nature to many academics would require some training.
Dr. Heleta concludes that the importance of getting profound research and ideas out into the world could counter all of these justifications. The impact it could have on actual policy and legislation in issues like climate change, disease prevention, and world hunger, could be hugely significant.
Do you think academics have an obligation to share their research with the world?
For more on the world of academia, check out: Why This MIT Dropout Started The Anti-College