Luczon: Research is no nerd stuff

IN COLLEGE, we had to deal with one important requirement before graduation: writing a thesis, also known as a (more than) year pouring your time, energy, and money on doing research.

The “stigma” on doing research can be traced on two things: 1. We don’t know how or what to begin; and 2. Statistics and other mathematical instruments in interpreting the data gathering results.

It has been that way, apparently.

But over time, especially entering graduate school, we saw enlightenment towards it.

More than the mathematics, theoretical frameworks, and formats the academic elders want us to follow, it is the intention on why you’re doing that in the first place. And these intentions are infinite, and universal – from the mysteries of the universe, to the unknown of why K-Pop is a phenomenon of some class or group of teens, instead of “Budots.”

Results of these researches are supposed to give answers, a remedy, and guide that are supposed to be used and applied. Something that remains a challenge today in the Philippines.

That is why it is not surprising that Senator Cynthia Villar would quip about “research obsession” that seems to go nowhere even there’s government funding. Her initial reaction draw some criticisms, especially from the scholars, academics, scientists, and researchers alike.

She clarified it though, some days later, that what she meant was that research results and innovations were “not felt” at all down to the grassroots, and that it is seldom that these were applied and can be seen in actual workplace (this, in the context of agricultural research).

Villar’s observations, “tactless” or “insensitive” as it may seem, echoes the long-been problem about research in general: only few are truly been used in a level that a common citizen can appreciate it.

We have been enjoying the innovations made from China, Japan, the United States and other foreign countries because years of research, they launched it commercially.

So, most of the technology we enjoy today are likely foreign. Even our education system, came from researches made mostly from foreign educators.

If we look at the research works of institutions here in Mindanao, we see promising outputs.

There were crops developed that are supposed to withstand long months of droughts. This could have saved a lot of farmers during El Niño seasons, and yet, we still resort to cloud seeding which is just a “band-aid” solution.

Again, going back: where did our research went? Some college students had their research book-binded, passed to their colleges, and shelved in libraries or archives. They happily graduate, post long essay of their struggles in Facebook, and go find their dream jobs or businesses.
Some of the “professional” scholars, researchers, and scientists in the industry and academia, they do so in order to get published in journals – a requirement for ranking and increase in salaries. If one is lucky, they can co-author with other authors with ease and less contribution to the body of work, and maybe – if the price is right.


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