Science, in its purest sense, is the search for the truth. Research, the embodiment of scientific investigation, is an ongoing process of discovery.
Occasionally there are irrefutable discoveries and observations made that translate to generally “accepted truths,” like the world being round, the earth going around the sun, and the pancreas being the organ in the body that secretes the hormone insulin, which acts to control blood glucose levels.
Other times there is so much mounting evidence of a particular paradigm or theory that the paradigm itself becomes an “accepted truth,” while the specific mechanisms that make the evident paradigm function remain topics of research and discovery. Evolution, Climate Change and the current rising global epidemic of obesity and its clear connection to type 2 diabetes, are examples of things that only the densest or most ignorant of people would deny.
Further “pioneer” types of research may look for entirely new paradigms to explain a whole range of phenomena, whether through reason, advanced mathematics, technology, intensive observation, or ideally some combination thereof. These kinds of research can be an exciting journey, where entirely unexpected or highly influential results are obtained, or it can be a disappointingly futile exercise. Good research is never a waste, however, and even negative results always have something important to be gleaned from.
What science is not, and is often misinterpreted to be, is a set of “absolute” truths. Research is done to further understanding, and this is an endless and constantly improving process.
As pioneering 17th century British physicist Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants,” in reference to his predecessors such as Johannes Kepler, and especially Galileo Galilei.
Research about epidemiology, environmental sustainability, nutrition and lifestyle, which are some of the core research areas likely to be encountered here, are no different. It is not about looking for absolute truths, but appreciating and understanding the journey of evidence and discovery in order to gain knowledge. Knowledge is power, and action taken from that knowledge produces results; it all starts with curiosity, motivation, and research.
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